“We want to boldly commit ourselves to bringing an educational project to life, investing our best energies and also initiating creative and transforming processes in collaboration with civil society”: this is the invitation re-launched by Pope Francis for a new Global Educational Pact.
Bianca Fraccalvieri – Vatican News
For 2020, two major events called for by Pope Francis were expected: one on the economy and the other on education. Both were postponed due to the pandemic, but it is no longer possible to wait.
Therefore, virtually through a video message released at an event organized at the Pontifical Lateran University, Francisco updated the invitation made to all civil society on September 12, 2019 to “give life to an educational project, investing our best energies”.
The Pope himself reveals that when he idealized this new project, the situation that would be created with Covid-19 never “crossed his mind”. The coronavirus has accentuated the disparity in educational and technological opportunities, to the point of constituting an “educational catastrophe”.
Perhaps the expression is strong, he says, but there is talk of catastrophe because about ten million children could be forced to drop out of school because of the economic crisis generated by the coronavirus. The crisis, therefore, is much deeper, it is general: it is in crisis “our way of understanding reality and relating to each other”.
This is where the “transforming power of education” comes into play: “educating is always an act of hope that invites participation, transforming the sterile and paralyzing logic of indifference into a different logic, capable of accepting our common belonging”.
Educating is an act of love
For Francis, it is necessary to renew the formative path to build new paradigms, capable of responding to the challenges and emergencies of the current world, because education – the Pope also says – “is one of the most effective ways to humanize the world and history”.
Our future, continues Francisco, cannot be the division, the impoverishment of the faculties of thought and imagination, of listening, dialogue and mutual understanding.
Nor can our future favor “serious social injustices, violations of rights, profound poverty and human waste”. Nor can the future be made of young people who suffer from depression, drug addictions, girls-brides and child soldiers or minors sold and enslaved
“For and with” generations of young people
Therefore, when he speaks of a new Global Educational Pact, the Pope has in mind a project “for and with young generations, which engages families, communities, schools and universities, institutions, religions, governments, humanity whole in the formation of mature people ”.
This requires boldness, said the Pontiff, quoting from his new encyclical: “Let us be an active part in the rehabilitation and support of wounded societies. Today we have before us the great opportunity to express our being brothers, to be other good Samaritans who take on themselves the pain of failure, instead of fomenting hatred and resentment »(Enc. All brothers, 77). In summary: we need the ability to create harmony.
Invest our best energies with courage
In the sequence, Francisco makes the proclamation in seven points of the commitments to assume for those who adhere to the new Pact, such as: putting the person first, listening to the voice of children, youth and family, investing in the education of girls, educating the welcoming, finding new ways of understanding the economy and politics, as well as guarding and cultivating the common home.
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we want to boldly commit ourselves to bringing an educational project to life in our countries of origin, investing our best energies and also initiating creative and transformative processes in collaboration with civil society.”
In this process, Francis points to the Church’s social doctrine as a point of reference, recalling that the great transformations are not built at the table, but with the contribution of all.
After the Pope’s words, the event in Lateranense continued with the participation of the director-general of Unesco, Audrey Azoulay, and with the promoters of the event, that is, with those responsible for the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani. Academics and students also intervened.