Cardinal: Catholic identity is caring witness, not defensive ideology

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November 13, 2015

Philippine students inside an all-girl Catholic school in Manila, Philippines, demand an end to violence against women and girls Feb. 13. Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, head of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said Catholic schools need to boldly proclaim values. (CNS photo/Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA) See VATICAN-CATHOLIC-EDUCATION Nov. 13, 2015.

Philippine students inside an all-girl Catholic school in Manila, Philippines, demand an end to violence against women and girls Feb. 13. Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, head of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said Catholic schools need to boldly proclaim values. (CNS photo/Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Strong Catholic identity for Catholic schools and educational institutes depends on fostering proactive, creative and charitable witnesses of God’s love and Gospel values, not defending abstract ideologies, said the head of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Catholic identity must recognize the major mission of evangelization is “salvation and not conflict,” said Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, the congregation’s prefect.

“If one uses an abstract rationality, one heads for an ideological battle that does not take into account the essence of the proclamation of the Gospel, which is for people, not for ideas,” he said at a Vatican news conference Nov. 13.

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