Catechism for Parents

Catechism for Parents

When a husband and wife accept the responsibility of parenthood, they become partners with God in creation. Parenting includes not only the temporal well being of a child, but most especially, it calls for the spiritual nurturing of the child. Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law. Catechism of the Catholic Church (2222). The very act of parenting, calls the parents to be the primary educators. This concept has been supported and advocated by the Church. "Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children." Catechism of the Catholic Church (2223).

"They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues." In his 1994 Letter to Families, Pope John Paul II wrote, "Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also posses a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators, because they are parents." (16). The Second Vatican Council, in its Declaration on Christian Education (5), also affirmed the "primary and inalienable right and duty" of parents to educate their children. It should be noted, however, that while parents are the primary educators, their interpretation of doctrine can never supersede the legitimate teaching authority of the Church. Parents are responsible for the education of their children and have the right to choose a school which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible, parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Cathechism of the Catholic Church (2229).

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