Pope Francis hosted a meeting at the Vatican with representatives of different religious traditions gathered to discuss the Global Compact on Education. It's an initiative the Pope launched in 2019 to promote an education focused on fraternity, peace and justice.
'On this World Teachers' Day instituted by UNESCO, we, as representatives of different religious traditions, wish to express our closeness and gratitude to teachers, and at the same time our concern for education.'
The Pope said that “if we desire a more fraternal world, we need to educate young people to acknowledge, appreciate and love each person, regardless of physical proximity, regardless of where he or she was born or lives.”
He explained that education commits everyone to accept others as they are; to reject every violation of the physical and moral integrity of each individual; to care for the planet; and to condemn all forms of violence carried out in the name of religion.
'Today we want to state that our religious traditions, which have always played a leading role in schooling, from teaching literacy to higher education, reaffirm our mission of integrally educating each individual: head, hands, heart and soul.'
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Tayyeb also intervened.
As did Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
“Education is related to what humankind ought to be rather than to what it is.”
At the end of the meeting, Pope Francis, on behalf of all the faith leaders, presented the message to Prof. Stefania Giannini, UNESCO's Assistant Director General for Education.