Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Holy Cross: A Catholic Perspective
“Flowing from their rebirth in Christ, there is a genuine equality of dignity and action among all of Christ’s faithful. Because of their equality they all contribute, each according to his/her own condition and office, to the building up of the body of Christ.”
(Code of Canon Law, n.208)
The Church teaches us that we are one body in Christ, each of us created in God’s image. God loves us as we are, with our individual gifts and limitations, strengths and weaknesses. Each person has a unique vocation and mission, and we are called to value the difference and equal dignity of every person.
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
All children should have the opportunity to experience God’s kingdom and Catholic schools have a responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that they are inclusive of all children.
The Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales has published a document entitled ‘Valuing Difference’ (November 1998). It promotes the full participation of people with disabilities in the life of the Church and outlines practical ways that access and inclusion in Church activities can be improved.
“Our task, as members of the Church, is to translate Christ’s message of inclusion into practical action, so that the contribution of each member is respected and nurtured. This is our shared mission. For just as each of us receives the gift of the Holy Spirit through baptism, so we can grow as a Church through the gifts each of us brings to the body of Christ. Active participation needs therefore to be accessible to all.”
(Valuing Difference, 1998)