Iosif ENĂŞOAE: Christian Parents, Children’s First Educators according to the Documents of the Second Vatican Council
The first and irreplaceable mission of the Christian parents is to be real educators for their children. Having called their children to the banquet of life, Christian parents have the foremost and specific right and, at the same time the, duty to be involved in a total and responsible manner in children’s growth and the whole education process. Aware of the fact that each of their children has the same human dignity as their parents’ dignity, such parents have the duty to educate and train children so that the latter can fully live their vocation, in accordance with human dignity, while promoting personal and common good.
According to the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, the education children have to receive from their parents is complex and shall include all aspects of human life: physical, psychological, religious, moral, social and vocational. To adequately fulfil their mission, parents will make responsible choices in choosing the kindergarten, primary and secondary school and high school for their children; such institutions shall support children and help them in their pedagogical itinerary. From Christian perspective, the most important commitment made by spouses when receiving the sacrament of Matrimony is to transmit faith to their children by Baptism, and to preserve and develop this gift received through catechesis, prayer and personal example. The current education crisis – the result of erroneous ideologies – often encountered also in our families, can be overcome by changing this wrong mentality. This mentality refuses to accept the fact that children are a gift God makes to human family and society, while arguing that children are rather obstacles for the development of their parents or a right owed to such parents. The teaching of the Second Vatican Council is the most appropriate guide for Christian parents called to fulfil their mission of providing their children with a genuine human and Christian education.