Responding to questions from a few educators selected from the thousands who attended an audience with him, Pope Francis explained his ideas about the challenges that face the field of education.
Gonzaga Institute (Italy)
"According to you, what must an institution do to be truly Christian?”
"You cannot speak of Catholic education without speaking about humanity, because the Catholic identity is precisely that God became man.”
He said that educating people in the faith isn't just about giving catechesis but instead about helping young people to understand reality and discover transcendence.
"For me, the biggest crisis in education from the Christian perspective is this closing off transcendence. We have closed ourselves to transcendence.”
The Pope also denounced the poor access the most needy have to education. He criticized states which don't emphasize its importance.
"Among the worst paid workers are educators. What do you say about this? That the state simply doesn't care about education. If they were interested, things wouldn't be this way. The educational pact is broken and here is our job: to find new ways.”
The former professor said that a good educator risks teaching his students how to walk on their own. He added that good students are often those whose parents don't have much money. The most needy children have experienced something better off kids haven't: suffering.
"They have something that youths in more rich neighborhoods don't have. It isn't their fault. It's a sociological reality. They have the experience of survival, and also of cruelty, and also of hunger, and also of injustice. Their humanity is wounded. FLASH The reality is you understand better from the peripheries than from the center, because in the center you are always covered, you're always defended.”
Pope Francis suggested that education cannot be reduced to just the transmission of ideas and that we must find new ways to help young people develop their capacity to think, to make, and to love.