To absorb quickly the key points in what is a 47,500 word document, ucanews.com highlights some significant sections in the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium.
News in Church Issues
A new study warns that schools are flouting the law by dropping religious education in a move that risks leaving pupils 'ill-prepared' to make sense of faith in later life
The National Association of Teachers of Religious Education warned that RE was being sidelined in many schools.
Even Pope Francis, while he has dismissed the possibility of women’s ordination, acknowledged in his September interview in the Jesuit magazine America that our challenge today is “to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised.?.?.?.”
Pope Francis has just released a new document titled Evangelii Gaudium, “The Joy of the Gospel.” It is his first apostolic exhortation, and it is devoted to the theme of the new evangelization. It was written in response to the most recent meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which took place in October, 2012.
The Roman Catholic Church has ruled out opening any more new schools under the Coalition’s favoured academies programme unless it drops a cap on the number of places which can be reserved for churchgoers’ children.
In his audience with participants of the International Conference on Catechesis for the Year of Faith, the Pope said: “Don’t be afraid to go with Christ to the peripheries”. “Catechesis is a pillar for education in the faith and it needs good catechists!” Being a good catechist “begins with Christ”
We cannot afford to shy away from conversations about sex and sexuality, because outside our classrooms and youth groups and away from family members, our young people meet the issues in the riskier surroundings of the playground, the media, and in the isolation of their bedroom with a computer.
The task of Catholic educators today ... is to offer to learners the possibility of an encounter with Jesus Christ.’ At the beginning of a new academic year, Nicholas King SJ suggests how Catholic teachers can and do respond to the challenges that are contained in this task. How can educators create a space in which today’s young people can find the Jesus they are longing to meet?
Aged eight, my daughter knew that she must take her shoes off when entering a mosque. But ask her to recite the Ten Commandments, and she couldn’t. This, despite being at a Catholic state primary. I wasn’t too surprised, therefore, to learn that religious education in state schools is inadequate – so much so that Ofsted claims most pupils don’t know who Jesus was.
In a damning report, the education watchdog warned that teaching about Britain’s principal religion was “one of the weakest aspects” of RE lessons in English state schools. Ofsted found that overall standards of RE were poor in six-in-10 primary schools and just over half of secondaries.The subject was a “very low priority” in many schools, inspectors warned.
Four suggestions for the pope's 'to-do' list. Six months into his papacy, it is crystal clear that this Argentine cardinal, now Pope Francis, was very serious about what he said. In his words and his deeds, in what he has done and what he is laying out to do, there is no doubt that the Catholic Church under Pope Francis is facing a game change.
Considering the role of the Church and her use of the media, he said, “In every situation, beyond technological considerations, I believe that the goal is to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts and their hopes.
In 2006, after midweek evening Mass I found myself - through a chance conversation - attending an evening to introduce parishioners to the parish Landings group, whose aim is to welcome back those who have been 'away' for a time and want to return.
As for religious education, state schools are required to offer the subject, but parents may keep their children away; and significantly, the content (ie, which faiths are explained) is determined by agreements with local authorities in which faith groups are consulted.
Pope Francis has named as Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin. This morning, Saturday, 31 August, the Pontiff made public having accepted the resignation of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone - who has held the position since 15 September 2006 – asking him to retain his responsibilities until 15 October, Archbishop Parolin will take possession of his new office.
But many in the church are raising their eyebrows–and their hopes–over the first Jesuit pope’s call for a “deeper theology of women” and his note on “a lack of a theological development” when it comes to the female half of the world’s population.
Can one really unravel the mystery of China? Perhaps not, but the country has risen to global superpower status. Accordingly, the Western world should learn more about the Chinese economy, diplomacy and culture. A better understanding of the Catholic Church in China could bear fruit as well.
The Education Secretary suggested a new strategy was needed to improve the quality of lessons amid fears over a decline in the number of children studying RE to a high standard. Major faith groups including the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church will be involved in the project to “improve the quality and celebrate great religious education teaching”, he said.