Vatican City: February 10, 2011. Pope Benedict has urged priests, catechists and Catholic teachers to make as much use as possible of the internet.
During an audience for participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Catholic Education, on Monday, the Holy Father said: “The internet, with its capacity to overcome distances and put people in contact, also presents great possibilities for the Church and her mission. With the necessary discernment to ensure it is used intelligently and prudently, can be a useful tool, not only for the studies but also for the pastoral work of future priests in various ecclesial fields, such as evangelisation, missionary activity, catechesis, educational projects, and administration of institutions.” The Pope was referring to a draft document on 'The internet and formation in seminaries' that the participants in the Plenary are studying.
He emphasised that education and formation “today represent one of the most urgent challenges the Church and her institutions are called to face” in that today's culture “all too often makes relativism its creed”. For this reason, “its important work serving the various kinds of Catholic formative institute, inspiring the Christian vision of man and reality.”
In his Address, the Holy Father cited “the seventieth anniversary of the Pontifical Society for Priestly Vocations”, emphasising that “this anniversary can be an opportunity to understand and take advantage of the most important vocational initiatives being promoted in the local Churches.”
Commenting on the fact that the participants have begun a revision of the Apostolic Constitution “Sapientia christiana” on ecclesiastical universities and faculties, the Pope highlighted the importance of making “the relationship between theology and the study of Sacred Scripture more robust, so that these truly become heart and soul. However, the theologian should not forget to speak to God. It is vital for theology to remain closely linked to individual and community prayer, especially liturgical prayer,” stressing “the connection of theology with other disciplines, considering that it is taught in the Catholic Universities, and in many cases, also in public universities.”
Speaking about “inter-cultural education”, the Pope said that “in this area courageous and innovative faith is required, which combines a clear awareness of their identity and openness to otherness, for the purposes of living together in multicultural societies. And towards this end emerges “the educational role of the teaching of Catholic religion as an academic discipline in interdisciplinary dialogue with others. It contributes, indeed, not only to the integral development of the student, but also to an understanding of others, to comprehension and mutual respect.”