Pope Francis visited the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador on Thursday afternoon. He met with professors and students to reflect on educational challenges that the world is facing today.
More than 5,000 chairs were set up on the school's soccer field, where Pope Francis spoke about the importance of education. He said that to help young people learn, there is a need to not look down on them and to instead help with things like comprehension skills.
"Jesus does not seek to 'play the professor.' Instead, he seeks to reach people’s hearts, their understanding and their lives, so that they may bear fruit.”
The Pope referenced the encyclical "Laudato Si” five times during his speech. He said that it is important for young people to understand that everything is interrelated. Further, it is important to help others and not act as if other people's problems don't also affect us.
"When a poor person dies of cold and hunger, it isn't news. But when the stock markets in the most important cities of the world drop by one or two points, it is a global scandal.”
At the same time, the Pope stressed that it's important to not feel superior if one is more educated. Being a student is not synonymous with having greater social prestige.
"They are not synonymous. How can we help make their education a mark of greater responsibility in the face of today’s problems, the needs of the poor, concern for the environment?”
Cultivating and caring. These were the other two key words in the Pope's speech. Cultivating in the sense of investing in both people and in the world. And caring because the future will depend on how much we have invested in and protected the world today.