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Pope calls for Christian humanism in Catholic schools

Pope John Paul II has told educators that their work must uphold Gospel values in a way that embraces different cultures.

"Education has a particular function in the construction of a world of greater solidarity and peace," he said. "It can contribute to the affirmation of an integral humanism, open to the ethical and religious dimension, which knows how to give importance to knowledge and appreciation of the cultural and spiritual values of the different civilisations."

The Pope was receiving 250 participants in a four-day international congress organised by the European Committee for Catholic Education.

Referring to the increasingly common phenomenon of Catholic schools opening their doors to students of other faiths, he insisted on 'constructive dialogue in the multicultural society of our time'.

But he maintained that necessary dialogue must now allow the diminishment of the Catholic character and structures of the education system.