(Vatican Radio) A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office on Friday to present the work of the Pontifical Foundation Gravissimum educationis and the document “Educating to fraternal humanism. Building a ‘civilization of love’ 50 years after Populorum progressio”.
Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:
Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, presented the document at Friday’s press conference.
He said it contains the guidelines for education in fraternal humanism and that it will be distributed to all 216,000 Catholic schools and universities around the world.
Entitled “Educating to fraternal humanism. Building a ‘civilization of love’ 50 years after Populorum progressio”, the document seeks to trace a path forward in Catholic education based on the principles set out in Populorum progressio.
The document says, “Our efforts at education will be inadequate and ineffectual unless we strive to promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature”.
“Solidarity and brotherhood,” Cardinal Versaldi said, can be promoted by Catholic schools and universities “through a formative experience capable of integrating science and conscience.”
Pontifical Foundation Gravissimum educationis
The press conference also gave voice to the two-year old Pontifical Foundation Gravissimum educationis, instituted by Pope Francis in 2015.
Msgr. Guy-Réal Thivierge, the Foundations’ secretary general, said its work is to incarnate the educative vision promoted by the Congregation for Catholic Education.
He said the Foundation is inspired primarily by Church teaching and by the charism of Pope Francis.
Key words behind its work, Msgr. Thivierge said, are “inclusion, dialogue, cooperation, and transcendence.”
“The Foundation’s vocation is to enact innovative projects to improve the quality of education, to promote scientific studies, and to favor networking and collaboration between educational institutions,” he said.
At the heart of both the document and the Pontifical Foundation, Cardinal Versaldi said, is the desire “to humanize education” in order to build “a civilization of love”.
(Devin Sean Watkins)