Parents as Primary Educators

Other educators can assist in this task, but they can only take the place of parents for serious reasons of physical or moral incapacity. On this point, the Magisterium of the Church has expressed itself clearly, in relation to the whole educative process of children: "The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to find an adequate substitute" (TMHS, 23).

Throughout The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, Guidelines for Education Within the Family, "the Church holds that it is her duty to give parents back confidence in their own capabilities and help them to carry out their task" (TMHS, 47).

"In fulfilling a ministry of love to their own children, parents should enjoy the support and cooperation of the other members of the Church. The rights of parents must be recognized, protected, and maintained, not only to ensure solid formation of children and young people, but also to guarantee the right order of cooperation and collaboration between parents and those who can help them in their task. Likewise, in parishes and apostolates, clergy and religious should support and encourage parents in striving to form their own children. In turn, parents should remember that the family is not the only or exclusive formative community. Thus, they should cultivate a cordial and active relationship with other persons who can help them, while never forgetting their own inalienable rights" (TMHS, 148).

"The Pontifical Council for the Family therefore urges parents to have confidence in their rights and duties regarding the education of their children, so as to go forward with wisdom and knowledge, knowing that they are sustained by God's gift. In this noble task, may parents always place their trust in God through prayer to the Holy Spirit, the gentle Paraclete and Giver of all good gifts" (TMHS, 150).