Communiqué of the Congregation for Catholic Education
Despite the difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Global Compact for Education continues to receive feedback, on many levels, from around the world. This global event, announced by Pope Francis on 12 September 2019, unfortunately could not take place on 14 May 14 2020 (as was originally planned) due to the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, almost everywhere there has been an increase in the number of local initiatives, some of which have also taken on significant importance at various official levels. Hence, the Congregation for Catholic Education has received requests for precise guidelines and practical support.
In response, the Dicastery has offered three tools: a Vademecum, as a guide for implementing the Global Compact for Education, intended for educators who have the task of accompanying children and young people in their various formal and informal types of formation; a book entitled “Education between Crisis and Hope”, recently published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, which is conceived as guidelines in which the five central themes of the Global Compact are comprehensively presented: interreligious and intercultural dialogue; dignity and human rights; the culture of peace and citizenship; fraternity and cooperation; and technology and holistic ecology; finally, an Exemplar of an agreement that can be used at the local level to create an operational alliance to put into practice the Global Compact for Education.
These documents will be published, in five languages, on the official website of the Global Compact for Education (https://www.educationglobalcompact.org) on the same day of the Meeting between Representatives of Religions, on 5 October at the Vatican, which will have the theme “Religions and Education: towards a Global Compact of Education”. This meeting, which will gather around twenty representatives of the world’s different confessions, aims “to revitalize our commitment towards and with young people, renewing our passion for a more open and inclusive education, capable of patient listening, constructive dialogue and mutual understanding.”
The Global Compact for Education has been, on several occasions, the focus of the Holy Father’s reflections in his speeches, thus prompting various initiatives to be undertaken to address this subject from different points of view, as well as to design specific formation curricula, aimed especially at educators and young people.
In a video message of 15 October 2020, Pope Francis relaunched the Global Compact, placing it in the context of the terrible pandemic; he also connected it not only with the encyclical Laudato Si’, as he had done in his previous message, but also with the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, published a few days earlier. Later, he returned to the topic on other occasions, including in his annual message for the World Day of Peace of 1 January 2021 (published on 8 December 2020) and on the occasion of the High Level Virtual Climate Ambition Summit (12 December 2020).
With these statements of the Pope, the Global Compact takes on an even broader and more practical character, from which derives a vision and a strategy that can open up pathways and projects at all levels of education, academia, society and the Church. The Pope’s invitation asks us to make a commitment to young people, so that they become central to a culture of dialogue and a civilization of harmony. This mosaic of motivations is our reference-point for rethinking educational paradigms and reshaping the task of Christians to be the living leaven of a new humanity, as well as to engage in dialogue with all those who have the common good at heart.