Collaboration, communion between bishops and Catholic schools urged

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Archbishop Soc Villegas

DAGUPAN, Pangasinan, June 22, 2013–Bishops should take a hands-on approach in the operation of Catholic schools and universities under their respective turfs to make sure they don’t go against the advocacies and teachings of the Church.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said his stint as chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) taught him the need for a relationship between the diocese and the school.

“I think that there should be a greater collaboration and relationship of communion between the bishop of the diocese and Catholic schools and universities because that would put these institutions in the mainstream of the diocesan life,” he said.

The prelate said such relationship of collaboration and communion will ensure the oneness of the diocese and Catholic academic institutions.

“Catholic schools and universities advocating things that are not consistent with the Catholic teaching could be better attended to if there is a stronger relationship between bishops and these institutions,” Villegas added.

He urged Catholic educators to always consider the Church and their bishop in their teaching practice.

“From the point of view of Theology, the first teacher in the diocese is the bishop that’s why all teaching ministry in the diocese are just participating in the teaching office of the bishop. So Catholic schools and universities should reflect what the bishop teaches,” he said.

“If Catholic schools and universities teach something that is contrary to what the bishop teaches then it practically says they are autonomous,” Villegas added.

The prelate even described as “dangerous” a situation wherein the Catholic schools defy the teaching authority of their bishops.

“When a body has two heads, it is a monster. If you don’t see the headship of Christ in the teacher and you say that I have my own head and can teach what I want to teach, then it becomes dangerous to the Faith,” Villegas warned. (YouthPinoy)

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