DAILY CATHOLIC TUESDAY September 15, 1998 vol. 9, no. 180
NEWS & VIEWS
POPE EMPHASIZES VALUE OF EDUCATION WHILE HONORING 1000 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF DECEASED CHILDREN AND 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CATHOLIC SCOUTS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- "Love your school!" Pope John Paul II advised children who are returning to their studies. The Pope delivered that message during his Sunday Angelus audience.
The Holy Father urged students to "return with joy" to their classrooms, and to recognize education as both "a great gift" and a "fundamental right."
Illiteracy, the Pope continued, is "a plague, a heavy handicap" which can be compared with hunger and homelessness-- a problem which deprives man of his full dignity. For that reason, he said, society should give the schools whatever resources they need to educate children properly. Education, he concluded, is "always a fruitful investment."
The Pope delivered his Angelus message from Castel Gandalfo, where he remains at his summer residence.
In a related matter to children, through a message addressed to Bishop Raymond Seguy, of the French diocese of Chalon sur Saone, Pope John Paul II has called attention to the 1000th anniversary of the institution of a special day of prayer for deceased young children.
The commemoration of dead children was instituted by St. Odilon, the abbot of Cluny, in 998. The memorial is observed on the morning of November 2-- the morning of the feast of All Saints. The tradition is upheld by the monks of Cluny to this day.
For the Church, the Holy Father observed in his message, "no situation is completely lost." Through the salvific action of Jesus Christ, he explained, "the Church hopes for eternal salvation for all children, as indeed for all men." The Pope requested prayers for dead children, especially during this year marking the millennium of their feast day.
Still focusing on youth, in an apostolic letter honoring the 50th anniversary of the international organization of Catholic Scouts, Pope John Paul II called on the leaders of the scout movement to a more "radical" witness to Gospel virtues.
To representatives of the scout group-- who had took time off from their conference in Rome to join his Angelus audience on Sunday-- the Pope thanked the scout leaders for their "teaching based on Gospel values," and their insistence on "moral rectitude and the spirit of self-discipline, as well as their service to society and the Church. He pointed out that scouting has in practice proven to be an effective means of preparing young people for religious life.
Finally, the Pope said, the international scouting movement has
enabled young people of different races, languages, and cultures to
meet and educate each other. He praised the "ecumenical spirit" of
the Scout movement, and its contribution to international
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
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