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Back to 2013_03_21_TEO_La responsabilidad de la educación y de los medios de comunicación

Ramiro Pellitero, University of Navarra

Responsibility of Education and the media

Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:19:00 +0000 Posted in

As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, observed less than a year ago, to educate is to "lead to harmony", on the foundation of limits and the hope of horizons. Already as Pope Francis, he has pointed out that we are all called to communicate truth, goodness and beauty.

financial aid The Second Vatican Council says: "It is proper to the whole People of God (...) to listen to, discern and interpret, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the many voices of our time and to evaluate them in the light of the divine word, so that revealed Truth may be better perceived, better understood and more adequately expressed" (Pastoral Const. Gaudium et Spes, 44).

At the same time, according to the Council, those who are more directly involved in educational tasks should concern themselves with the training of the human person in view of his ultimate end and the good of society, in whose responsibilities young people will take part in the future (cf. Declaration Gravissimum educationis, nn. 1 ff.). This educational task is considered a true "vocation," requiring special gifts and preparation and a constant readiness to renew and adapt (cf. n. 5).

2. Since Vatican II, the urgency of Education has become increasingly evident. In his third encyclical Caritas in veritate (2009), Benedict XVI pointed out:

"By the term "Education" we do not refer only to instruction or to training for work, which are two important causes for development, but to the complete training of the person. In this regard, a problematic aspect must be emphasized: in order to educate, it is necessary to know who the human person is, to know his nature" (n. 61).

And he added a reference letter to the current context of relativism: "The entrenchment of a relativistic vision of this nature poses serious problems for the Education, especially for the moral Education , compromising its universal diffusion. By yielding to this relativism, everyone becomes poorer, with negative consequences also for the effectiveness of financial aid for the most needy populations, which lack not only economic or technical resources, but also pedagogical ways and means that help people to achieve their full human fulfillment" (Ibid.).

3. On the basis of this first urgency, which we could call Education anthropological and ethical for all, it becomes urgent the Education in the faith. This corresponds to Christian families and parishes together with other ecclesial realities (catechesis), as well as to schools (especially those of Christian inspiration) and, to the extent that the freedom and quality of this Education can be guaranteed, also to the State (teaching religious school). This Education must deal with what the Christian faith implies as proposal of the meaning of human existence, including what affects the relationship between faith and reason in the different disciplines or areas of knowledge, and also the social and public repercussions of faith.

Religion must be taught in the school with the same professional skill (together with the necessary suitability of the educator), the same demand for systematicity and rigor as the other subjects of the curriculum and in interdisciplinary dialogue with them.

In this way the Christian message can illuminate the understanding of the origin of the world and of human life, the meaning of history, the foundations of ethics, the value of beauty, the necessary and fruitful dialogue between religions and reason, the duty to contribute with work to the improvement of society and to relations of peace and justice among persons and nations, the meaning of sexuality and love and the role of the family.... In this way the Education properly religious can provide elements that enhance, develop and complete the whole of the educational action of the school.

4. As regards the Education in the faith, especially for children and young people, attention should be given to the liturgical-sacramental training , to the biblical training and to all the other aspects that make up the Christian faith. framework general for this pedagogy of the faith is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church has been given to us as the instrument for a double action: it contains the fundamental concepts of the faith and at the same time indicates the pedagogy of its transmission"(Document of work for the Synod on the New Evangelization, n. 101). This "pedagogy" refers to the method of uniting life and doctrine, truth and charity, profession of the "truths" of the faith and the life of the "works" that correspond to the faith. Simply put: it is a matter of forming Christians both in head and heart, and then taking care of their permanent training .

As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis, pointed out, to educate is to lead to harmony, on the foundation of limits and the hope of horizons, "to know how to knead these young hearts to live in freedom, far from every enslaving, colonizing and freedom-robbing option", referring, for example, to drugs and alcohol(Homily at the Mass for the Education, April 18, 2012).

5. With regard to the "means" of communication, the Second Vatican Council considers them first of all in a positive light, as the results of progress and technology at the service of humanity (cf. Decree Inter mirifica), and also as possible promoters, in the first line, of what has come to be called a civilization of love.

Rapid advances in communication technology and reflection on the nature of communicative action have served to enhance the contribution of these media to the spread of a healthy anthropology and the service of the Gospel. Moreover: "We are all called, not to show ourselves, but to communicate this existential triad that makes up truth, goodness and beauty" (Pope Francis, meeting with the media, 16-III-2013).

Also today the Internet and social networks, if used well (with respect and sensitivity, overcoming the mere desire for "popularity", giving way to an authentic witness of truth and respect, of faith and Christian life, etc.), can contribute to a true communication between people, to the development of the Christian faith and, ultimately, to spreading the love of God in the world and the relevance of religion in the public and social discussion .

Certainly, they can turn against man and faith to the extent that they renounce truth, goodness and beauty.

Through the new technologies it is possible to foster the unity of believers in the world, share spiritual and liturgical resources, promote prayer, reflection on the faith-personally or through meetings-and above all "active charity" (cf. 1 Cor 13:1) (cf. Benedict XVI, Message for workshop World Communication 2013: "Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization," 24-I-2013).

In this way, communication today can contribute to Christians being "icons or living messages", even in this culture of images.