The Spanish Government and the Holy See, continuing with revision of the concordat texts in the spirit of the Agreement of 28 July 1976, confer essential importance to matters related to education.
On one hand, the State recognizes the fundamental right to religious education and has ratified international agreements that guarantee the exercise of this right.
On the other hand, the Church must coordinate its educational mission with the principles of civil liberty in religious affairs and with the rights of families and all students and teachers, to avoid any discrimination or privilege.
The so-called social media have become an efficient school of knowledge, criteria and customs. Therefore, the same principles of religious freedom and equality without special privilege that the Church and State profess in educational affairs shall be applied in the legal regulation of the media.
Finally, the Church´s Historical, Artistic and Documental Patrimony continue to be an extremely important part of the cultural estate of the Nation. Therefore, placing this Patrimony in the service and for the enjoyment of society, its conservation and its increase justify collaboration of the Church and State. For this reason, both Parties conclude the following:
I. In view of the principle of religious freedom, educational activity shall respect the fundamental right of parents concerning the moral and religious education of their children in schools.
In any case, the education provided in public school will be respectful towards Christian values.
II. Educational plans at the levels of preschool, Elementary School (EGB) and High School (BUP) and technical colleges for students of the corresponding ages, shall include the teaching of the Catholic Religion in all Educational Centers, in conditions equal to those of the basic subjects.
Out of respect for freedom of conscience, this religious education shall not be obligatory for all students. However, the right to receive it is guaranteed.
Academic authorities shall adopt the necessary means so that receiving or not receiving religious instruction shall not suppose any discrimination at the school.
At the teaching levels previously named, the corresponding academic authorities shall allow the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy to establish, under the specific conditions agreed upon, other complementary activities of training and religious attendance.
III. At the educational levels referred to in the previous article, religious instruction shall be imparted by those persons who, each school year, shall be appointed by the academic authority from among those proposed by the diocesan Ordinary. With sufficient advance notice, the diocesan Ordinary shall make known the names of those teachers and persons considered competent for said education.
In public preschools, elementary schools and technical colleges, the designation, as previously described, shall preferably fall to those elementary school teachers who have requested it.
No one shall be compelled to teach religion.
Teachers of religion shall be part, for all purposes, of the faculty of their respective schools.
IV. The teaching of Catholic doctrine and its teaching at the University Schools for Teacher Training, under the same conditions as the other basic disciplines, shall be voluntary for all students.
Teachers of Catholic doctrine shall be named by the academic authorities in the same manner as that established in Article III and they too shall be considered part of the their respective faculties.
V. The State guarantees that the Catholic church may organize voluntary teaching courses and other religious activities in public Universities, using the premises and resources of these centers. The Church Hierarchy shall come to an agreement with the Centers´ Authorities for the suitable exercise of these activities in all aspects.
VI. It shall be the responsibility of the Church Hierarchy to decide the contents of Catholic teaching and training courses, as well as to propose textbooks and educational material relative to said teaching and training.
The Church Hierarchy and the State´s agencies, within the scope of their respective competence, shall ensure that the teaching and training are suitably imparted, with the religious teaching subject to the general control of the Centers.
VII. The economic situation of teachers of the Catholic religion at the different educational levels, who are not part of the State´s teaching staff, shall be arranged by the central government and the Spanish Episcopal Conference, in order that it be applied when this Agreement takes effect.
VIII. The Catholic church may establish diocesan and religious Minor Seminaries, the specific nature of which shall be respected by the State.
In order to be considered elementary schools, high schools or universities, the general legislation shall be applied, although neither a minimum number of registered students nor the acceptance of students in accordance with their geographical origin or family residence shall be required.
IX. Teaching centers that are not universities, independent of their grade or specialty, established by the church now or in the future, shall conform to the legislation in force, concerning the exercise of their activities.
X. 1. Universities, University Colleges, University Schools and other University Centers established by the Catholic church, shall conform to the legislation in force, concerning the exercise of their activities.
In order for studies carried out in these Centers to be recognized under civil law, they shall be governed according to current legislation concerning those subjects at all times.
2. The State recognizes the legal existence of those Universities established by the church in Spain as of the date in which this Agreement comes into effect. The legal regulations of these Universities must adapt to the legislation in force, except for that stipulated in Article XVII.2
3. Students at these Universities shall have the same benefits in matters of health care, student security, student aid and research and other forms of student protection as those established for students at State universities.
XI. The Catholic church, in accordance with its own law, maintains its autonomy in the establishment of Universities, Departments, Institutes of higher learning and other Centers of Ecclesiastic Science for training priests, religious and laymen.
Confirmation of studies and recognition by the State of the civil effects of degrees conferred by these centers of higher learning, shall be the subject of specific regulation between the competent authorities of the Church and the State. As long as this regulation is not in effect, possible confirmations of those studies and the granting of civil value to the degrees conferred shall be made in accordance with the general norms on this subject.
The confirmation and recognition of studies carried out and degrees obtained by clergymen or laymen in Departments approved by the Holy See abroad shall also be regulated by common consent.
XII. State Universities, prior agreement with the competent Church authority, may establish Centers of higher learning for the study of Catholic theology.
XIII. The Church´s teaching centers, regardless of their grade and specialization, and their students, shall have the right to receive those subsidies, scholarships, fiscal benefits and other aid that the State grants to private centers and to the students at these centers, in accordance with the system of equal opportunity.
XIV. Safeguarding the principles of religious freedom and freedom of expression, the State shall ensure that its social media shall respect the feelings of Catholics and shall establish the corresponding agreements concerning these matters with the Spanish Episcopal Conference.
XV. The Church reiterates its disposition to continue to place its historic, artistic and documental patrimony at the service of society in general and shall come to an agreement with the State concerning the basis for effecting the common interests and collaboration of both parties, for the purpose of preserving, making known and cataloging the Church´s cultural patrimony, facilitating its viewing and study, assuring its best possible conservation and preventing all losses, within the framework of Article 46 of the Constitution.
For these purposes and any others related with said patrimony, a Mixed Commission shall be formed within a year´s time at the latest, from the date on which this Agreement becomes effective in Spain.
XVI. The Holy See and the Spanish Government shall proceed by common consent in the resolution of any doubts or difficulties that may arise in the interpretation or application of any clause of this Agreement, guided by the principles informing it.
XVII. 1. The following articles of the Concordat currently in effect are repealed: XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX and XXXI.
2. However, the rights acquired by those Universities that the Church has established in Spain at the time of the signing of this Agreement are assured. These, however, may choose to adapt to the general legislation concerning private Universities.
First. The recognition for civil purposes of those studies followed in Church Universities currently in existence shall continue to be decided, temporarily, according to the norms now in force, until such time as the opportune regulations for recognition shall be prescribed for each Center or course of study, in accordance with the general legislation, which shall not expect requirements superior to those imposed by State Universities or public organisms.
Second. Those persons whom, at the moment in which this Agreement comes into force, hold superior degrees in Church Science and whom, by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Article 30 of the Concordat, are teachers of arts and literature in teaching centers dependent upon Church Authority, shall continue to be considered as holding a degree adequate for teaching at such Centers, despite the repeal of said article.
Under the provisions of this Agreement, the denomination of centers, educational levels, teaching staff and students, educational material, etc., shall continue to be valid for any equivalent educational changes that may arise as a result of reforms or changes in terminology or of the official school system.
The present Agreement, the texts of which in Spanish and Italian are equally valid, shall take effect from the moment of the exchange of the instruments of ratification.