In defence of Gravissimum Educationis

Sean Whittle

Sean Whittle, a secondary school RE teacher, responds to a recent article in the Pastoral Review by Gerald Grace (September-October 2013) on Gravissimum Educationis.

Gerald Grace has encouraged us to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of Vatican II?s declaration on education by turning instead to the 1977 document on the Catholic school. This he describes as groundbreaking and a source for new inspirational thinking on Catholic education, in a way that Gravissimum Educationis was not. He explains that the Council?s aggiornamento and spring time took a little longer to trickle down to our theology of education.
Although his article is eloquent, a careful re-reading has spurred me onto wanting to respond in order to say something in defense of Gravissimum Educationis. Moreover, I also want to raise a few challenges to Grace?s overly positive appraisal of the Congregation for Catholic Education?s 1977 guidance.

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