The Catholic University of America

 Silvio Fonseca Martinez Defense

Final Examination of Rev. Msgr. Silvio Fonseca Martinez

for the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology

November 10, 2010 1:00 p.m., Caldwell Room 125



John Grabowski, Ph.D.


Pope John Paul II’s Understanding of Education in Moral Values and Its Application to Catholic Secondary Education in Present-Day Nicaragua.

Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II reinvigorated Catholic education anthropologically and theologically. He encouraged Catholic schools, as a privileged place for Catholic education, to provide a solid Catholic moral formation for their students. This dissertation explores his key ideas on Catholic education both before and after Wojtyla’s elevation to the papacy. His teachings in this area are relevant to Nicaraguan Catholic schools to reinforce their current educational programs. Methodologically, this study focuses on the moral values of responsibility, justice, and solidarity, highlighted by Pope John Paul II to the Church of Nicaragua. It then uses these values to analyze samples of the moral curricula of three religious communities used in Nicaraguan Catholic secondary schools moral in terms of their similarities to John Paul II’s teaching on Catholic education.

The study begins by analyzing the current moral reality of Nicaragua in which young people are immersed. The second chapter provides key concepts articulated by John Paul II through which he enriched the conception of the human person and on which he fundamentally based his moral theology. The third chapter develops the specific teachings of the late pope on Catholic education which could be applied as resources for a religious curriculum in Catholic schools. Finally, the conclusion summarizes some concerns that Catholic schools in Nicaragua must face as they deal with a crisis of values.     

The interest in a renewal of Catholic education emerges from an apparent crisis of identity in a numerous Catholic schools around the world. Many schools have focused more on pedagogical process and humanistic subject matter than on providing a Christian moral formation for their students. Thus, John Paul II worked to remind Catholic schools of the riches of Vatican Council II and he motivated them in terms of his vision of the human person to offer a clear and vigorous Catholic education that would to able to respond to the challenges of contemporary society.