The function of the college within the face of present challenges, in keeping with François

On Monday, May 16, Pope Francis received rectors of public universities in Lazio, Rome. He reminded them of the “important” service that the university must provide to society as well as to young students called up to several crises. He also wanted to strengthen the connection between the Church and the university institution.

Adelaide Patrignani – Vatican

Pandemics, wars, climate change, growing inequalities: so many challenges of our time for universities “Duty of great responsibility”, declared the Holy Father at the beginning of this audience as rector of thirteen public universities in the Lazio region.

Young people are strongly affected by these problems “Risking creating an atmosphere of despondency and confusion, losing confidence, what’s worse, addiction.” To prevent this, a “Large investments are needed in education”, stressed the pope and mentioned the pact of global education which he launched in September 2019. “We are in crisis”, he added and young people have to learn “how to survive the crisis and overcome the crisis so that it does not fall into conflict”.

Putting humanity at the center

You should also focus “horizon of peace” and one “Real and integral development”, “which can only be built with critical meaning, freedom, healthy confrontation and dialogue”, rooted in Concrete. These are the principles of the University and “The role that this institution can only play beyond barriers and borders”, thinks the sovereign high priest. This shows “the central value of the human person”, which must remain a priority if we reconsider “Our economic, cultural and social models”.

“The term university itself refers to the community, but also to the idea of ​​bringing knowledge together in the search for truth and the meaning of dialogue between all men and women in the world.” François recalled in a previous speech quoted on Monday.

That is why the university can provide a service today “really important”, the Holy Father urged them to gather “The best intellectual and moral energies”.

Listening and respect training

The high priest then spoke of the students who “They are not satisfied with the mediocrity, (…) with the simple repetition of the data, even with professional training without a horizon”. They are pushed to do so by their demand, for example in the economic field “To build new and effective reactions, to overcome the old incrustations associated with a sterile culture of power competition.”

At their side, teachers need to be attentive and considerate because “The university has no boundaries: knowledge, research, dialogue, confrontation can only overcome all barriers and be” universal “, stressed the pope while urging students to form “To respect: self-respect, respect for others, respect for creation and respect for the Creator”.

František also encouraged a welcome “Students, researchers and teachers are victims of persecution, war and discrimination in different countries of the world”, and be careful “Poverty and the existential and social peripheries”.

“If you read and face this change of time with reflection and discernment, without ideological prejudices, without fear or escapes, or worse, without conformism.” the bishop of Rome wished his hosts.

To deepen the relationship with the Church

By improvising his speech, he then specially warned against ideologies that “Close universal panorama” a “To destroy human humanity”. “We also have a lot of ideologies in the Church, sometimes that do nothing good,” he regretted it.

Peter’s successor finally spoke of the jubilee of 2025, which will host the Eternal City.

We have only been separated for a few years since the jubilee in 2025. Opportunity to recall that in 1303, three years after the first jubilee celebration in 1300, it was created by the bull of Pope Boniface VIII. Urbis Studio -or the University of Rome, today La Sapienza-, “As if to show in practice and reaffirm the original relationship between the Church and a university institution, one of the oldest and most paradigmatic manifestations of European civilization, which has subsequently developed throughout the world,” said Pope Francis. It is now a matter of maintaining and strengthening this relationship, “in responsible and sustainable development road development”, the high priest indicated.

“Pilgrims of Hope”, motto of the next jubilee, sums up this commitment “To the common goals of life, good and brotherhood”, concluded.

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