The Congregation for Catholic Education wishes to emphasize that it is close to our Catholic schools’ and universities’ educating communities, and expresses its great esteem for what they are doing in this time of medical emergency, to guarantee – with the great effort it requires, and notwithstanding the difficulties due to social and human distancing – the continuation of their activities, to ensure that the current academic year can proceed and draw to a close.
On 14 May, there should have been the world event of the Global Compact on Education, so desired by Pope Francis, to increase our awareness of the responsibility we all have vis-à-vis education, so as to foster a spirit of encounter among the different generations, religions and cultures, as well as between humanity and the environment. The shared tragedy of the pandemic, which is uniting as never before the peoples of the Earth, makes this call even more meaningful. Therefore, we have no choice: we are all called “to to unite our efforts in a broad educational alliance, to form mature individuals who can overcome division and antagonism, and instead re-create the interweave of relationships to form a more fraternal humanity” (Pope Francis, Message for the Launch of the Global Compact on Education, 12 September 2019).
The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity has suggested dedicating 14 May to prayer, fasting and works of charity to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic; and Pope Francis has endorsed this proposal. We hope that educational institutions have fully welcomed this invitation, coming together to make this occasion a stepping-stone along the path of entrusting ourselves to God, the Father of all, the Source of life and hope. From our gaze fixed on the one Lord comes the courage to develop – including via education – that dynamic of unity and solidarity among people, religions and cultures, which can give birth to a renewed humanity.
Let us walk together on the paths of dialogue and mutual understanding, firm in our commitment to place ourselves at the service of our communities. Through sharing, respect and reciprocal welcoming, a new humanity will care not only for its children but also for the surrounding nature, from whose wonder it draws nourishment.
Lastly, we recall that we shall continue to keep in touch, by means of a teleconference, on 15 October 2020, with participants on-line from all over the world, to study in greater depth the Global Compact on Education.