Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday that Catholic schools are “an expression of the right of all citizens to freedom of education.”

Speaking Sept. 25 at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome to representatives of Catholic educational institutions, the Pope said the state should recognize the equal status of Catholic schools and public schools.

Doing so “will give parents the freedom to choose the school they desire,” the Holy Father noted.

Benedict said that granting equal status of Catholic schools “must not be considered as the defense of a particular interest, but as a precious contribution to the building of the common good of the whole society.”

— Tom McFeely