Church documents on Education

Recent key Church documents on Education 

Educating for Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools. Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love

Published 28 october 2013

Education contains a central challenge for the future: to allow various cultural expressions to co-exist and to promote dialogue so as to foster a peaceful society.

These aims are achieved in various stages:

  1. discovering the multicultural nature of one’s own situation;
  2. overcoming prejudices by living and working in harmony; and,
  3. educating oneself “by means of the other” to a global vision and a sense of citizenship.

Fostering encounters between different people helps to create mutual understanding, although it ought not to mean a loss of one’s own identity. “Catholic schools’ educational program foresees a harmonious meeting and merging of study and life. This allows students to enjoy a quality formative experience, enriched by intellectual research in the various branches of knowledge and, at the same time, a source of wisdom due to its context: life nourished by the Gospel.” (#62)

Key themes:

• Guarantee the Catholic identity of the educational project.
• Building up a common vision.
• Promote reasoned openness to the world.
• Form strong personal identities and open for dialogue.
• Develop self-awareness.
• Promote the respect and the comprehension of the values of other cultures and religions.
• Educate to sharing and responsibility.

Click here for the full text of Educating for Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools. Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love.


Instrumentum laboris: “Educating today and tomorrow: A renewing passion” – 2014

In 2014, the Dicastery for Catholic Education published the Instrumentum laboris: “Educating today and tomorrow. A renewed passion”. It brings together the fundamental characteristics of Catholic schools and universities, as well as the challenges to which Catholic educational institutions are called to respond with their own specific project. Preparatory to the World Congress of Catholic Education, it brings together 12 challenges for Catholic schools and 6 for universities.

Key themes:

• Building an Educational Context.
• Introducing Students to Research.
• Teaching as an Instrument for Education.
• The Centrality of Learners.
• The Diversity of Learners.
• Pluralism of Educational Establishments.
• Teacher Training.
• Challenges of the Catholic Schools.
• Challenges for Catholic Higher Education.

Click here for the full text of Educating today and tomorrow. A renewed passion.


Educating to fraternal humanism – Building a “civilization of love”, 50 years after Populorum progressio

Published 16 April 2017

Text written on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Populorum progressio.

Key themes focused on three emergencies emphasised among other objectives:

• Humanizing education
• The need to globalize hope
• The obligation to cultivate the learning of different forms of knowledge by projecting it into an ethical universe where man is at the centre and acts.

Click here for the full text of Building a “civilization of love”, 50 years after Populorum progressio.


“Male and female He created them” – Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education

Published 2 February 2019

Text which took its starting point in the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia of 2016.The dicastery has approached the theme of gender in the document using a methodology that is expressed in the 3 attitudes of listening, reflection, and proposal.

Click here for the full text of “Male and female He created them” – Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education.


“The identity of the Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue”

Published 25 January 2022

Text which is part of the perspective opened up by the Global Compact on Education reaffirming that not only are parents primarily responsible for the education of their children but that the students themselves have an active role to play within the educational community of schools, in which teachers are called to be not only masters in the transmission of knowledge but also witnesses to life.

Key themes:

• The identity of the Catholic school is not a defensive unit but a proactive one because the values inherent in educational projects are not imposed on anyone but offered to everyone.
• The school has a duty to clearly display the specific vision underlying its project.
• The objective of the instruction is to open a dialogue between the different actors responsible for the promotion and verification of Catholic identity.
• Inspired by the principles proposed in Evangelii Gaudium (the high voice of unity in the face of conflict, the superiority of time over space, the increased importance of reality over idea, and the superiority of the whole over the part) .
• Affirmation also of the central importance of the figure of the teacher who, as an educator, cannot act alone but must be able to count on a community of reference that supports him, within which he can verify his mission and in which the pupils themselves can find other reliable and qualified persons of reference.

Click here for the full text of “The identity of the Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue”