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Pope says Christian education should begin as early as possible

Children need to begin learning about the Christian faith as as soon as possible, Pope John Paul II told the Italian bishops this week.

He said that the family is the place for the beginning of a child's education in the faith.

"Families must be conscious of this noble mission and must help to carry it out," he urged. "Moreover, priests, catechists and those who give formation must speak personally with children, adolescents and young people."

The Holy Father also called for a reinforcement of the place of religion in the Italian school system.

"Religion teachers and Catholic schools continue to hope that their role and educational contribution be properly recognised [so that they can] participate fully in the educational and formative function of schools in a context of effective equality."

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Chesa Cattolica Italiana | 51 Assemblea Generale della CEI | Discorso Santo Padre (text - Word)

22 May 2003