Italy, England and Wales, Slovenia

Italy: guidelines for the decade 2010-2020″Educating to the good life of the Gospel”. This is the theme of the pastoral guidelines for the decade 2010-2020 chosen by the Italian Church following the ecclesial conference in Verona in 2006. Indeed, education “is a sublime and delicate art”. It is a contemporary “cultural challenge and a sign of the times”. The document will be presented on Thursday October 28. Its finality is “to show that the Lord is present in this world – writes cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference – so that all men and women may find Him and discover the transforming force of His love and of His truth”. The document also proposes “a thorough assessment of Church’s educational activity in Italy”, in view of “promoting this service for the good of society with renewed thrust”. The introduction underlines that the Church “is dedicated to the care of the wellbeing of the human person in the framework of integral and transcendent humanism”. It is a question of “educating to the authentic freedom of life”, forming at the same time “intelligence, will and capacity to love”. Christian communities at national level will have to question their “actions” as a Church that educates, confiding “in the treasure that the Lord placed into their hands”. England and Wales: “I call you friends””I call you friends”, is the new Catechism program prepared by advisors of the dioceses of England and Wales at the end of a thorough consultation process. It’s an in-depth study of the Scriptures and Church teachings, accessible and easy to read both at home and in the parish. A handbook is available for people with learning difficulties. The project consists of several volumes with coloured figures. The first is for children prior to their First Communion, the second for children who have already received First Communion, while the third is addressed to older children who wish to enter the Catholic Church. “CICA – the Christian initiation of children who have reached catechetical age”, is a program active in England and Wales where an increasing number of children in over eight years of age are being baptised. The first book of the new project is accompanied by a CD with music, along with a multimedia resource, also available on CD. “I call you friends” replaces the previous program “Walk with me”, which is comprised in “Living and sharing our faith: a national project for catechesis and religious education”. The project was undertaken to support cooperation between families, parishes and schools for children’s religious development.Slovenia: the burden of the crisis Before the world financial crisis that caused the social precariousness of Slovenian workers and of their families “it’s urgent to resume the implementation of the rule of the Law as soon as possible, as it is of crucial importance from the viewpoint of the common good and of pluralism in economic, political, social, health and cultural environments. This action is necessary to prevent the establishment of parallel centres of political and economic power, of the exploitation of the common good for private goals and of inequalities within legislative powers”. It is written in the Declaration of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference titled “Citizens have the right to enjoy the Rule of the Law and welfare State”, presented on October 25 in a press conference held in Ljubljana. “The rule of the Law – continues the Declaration – in inexorably linked to the fundamental values of justice and responsibility, with a stronger role played by ethical values in the areas of education, politics, economy and the administration of justice. It is necessary “to step up the responsibility for the future of the State” at all levels of social life. It is not the monopoly of a particular group, but of all citizens. A new social consensus in all areas of common life becomes a historical need which demands serene dialogue, and the stipulation of an intergenerational compromise”. Moreover, the government “is called to delve into the dialogue with all social partners, especially those that are most engaged in social dialogue”. More justice is needed also in the Welfare State, “especially as relates to the pension system”. The bishops also call for the protection “of the traditional family and family life”. “We must all be aware of the need to carry the burden of the economic crisis in solidarity – states the message – and “realize that the reform of the present system is a necessary obligation”.

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