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Council of Europe: citizenship and democracy, the experience of Catholic schools. Mgr. Rudelli, “educational community” a “lab for the civil community”

(Strasbourg) As the experience of Catholic teaching shows, “in order to really know one another, we need to make room for the others in their own identity” even in those aspects that are “deeply marked by religious references”, Mgr. Paolo Rudelli, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe, said as he opened the Seminar that is underway at the Council of Europe on the experiences of Catholic schools in citizenship education. Acceptance, without proselytism, dialogue and awareness of one’s identity are the ingredients of this path. “The educational community becomes a lab for the civil and democratic community, a place of coexistence and exchange, a place where to build a social body able to find its own identity and unity in mutual respect and in the coexistence of differences”. In all this, we must “respect religious freedom in its whole extension”, without impositions, but in the awareness that “religious affiliation cannot be regarded as an accessory element of the identity of the person for it carries in itself an intrinsic social expression. The positive integration of this religious dimension of the person is essential to the pursuit of true intercultural dialogue”.

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