Pakistani schoolboys attend class in Peshawar (ANSA)

By Francesca Merlo

Sep 10 2022

Pope Francis sends a message to the Director General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Literacy Day, and stresses the importance of creating an education system that unites, especially in times of war and pandemic.

Addressing the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on the occasion of International Literacy Day, celebrated on Thursday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on behalf of Pope Francis, wished “the reflections and work of this day every success, so that they bear good fruit for an effective and lasting transformation of literacy learning spaces.”

A metamorphosis

The Cardinal Secretary of State noted that the Pope speaks of our world going through a cultural and anthropological metamorphosis, as it is always generating new languages and rejecting, without discernment, the paradigms offered to us by history.

“Every change requires an educational pathway that involves everyone,” noted the Cardinal. “This is why it is necessary to build an ‘education village’ in which we share, in diversity, the commitment to create a network of human and open relationships,” he added.

A humane education

Pope Francis fervently hopes for an education and literacy “whose main objective is to build a world on a human scale, the primordial and fundamental subject of education, who must be considered in his material, cultural and spiritual aspirations, as well as in his relationship with others, with the community, with nature and with his living environment,” said the Cardinal.

He went on to note that the Pope urges us to find a worldwide convergence with a view to an education “that brings about an alliance between all the components of the person: between study and life; between generations; between teachers, students, families and civil society, according to their intellectual, scientific, artistic, sporting, political, entrepreneurial and solidarity-based expressions.”

This alliance, he added, “generates peace, justice and welcome among all the peoples of the human family, as well as dialogue between religions.”

Education in a time of war and pandemic

Bringing the Holy Father’s message to a close, the Cardinal Secretary of State noted that in this time of pandemic and war “educating is always an act of hope that invites us to share and to transform the sterile and paralysing logic of indifference into a logic capable of welcoming our common belonging.”

Finally, he expressed the hope that “the reflections and efforts to transform literacy learning spaces may contribute to building a civilisation of harmony, unity, solidarity, brotherhood and lasting peace, the Holy Father invokes upon you, upon the member countries of UNESCO and upon the collaborators of the illustrious Organisation of which you are Director General, the Blessings of the Most High.” – Vatican News