UniCamillus, the Pope receives the Rectors of the Universities of Lazio region

Peace cannot be attained without “critical thinking, freedom, healthy debate and dialogue”.
It was underlined by Pope Francis, who received, this morning, the Rectors of the 13 Universities in the Lazio region, that welcomes approximately 20.000 students from all over the world.

During the meeting that took place in the Private Library of the Palazzo apostolico, the Pope has pointed out how “The Universities, especially in this day and age, are charged with a task of great responsibility. The years of the pandemic, the spreading in Europe of the “piecemeal third world war”, the global environment issue, the rise of inequalities, challenge us in a fast ad unprecedented way. A challenge that has a strong cultural, intellectual and moral implication. The young generations face this scenario, with the risk of generating a mood of dejection and dismay, of loss of confidence, or, even worse, of habit”.

But the young do not accept it –the Pope added – and remind us of our responsibilities. Therefore this is the moment for an important educational investment. For this reason the Global Compact on Education is being implemented, that is a common project on a global scale, that involves many stakeholders, from the main religions to the international institutions, to the individual education institutions. With this in mind, the signature of the document on human brotherhood in Abu Dhabi on  February 4th 2019, we agreed that our concern is for a comprehensive education that can be summarised in knowing themselves, one’s own brother, the Creation and the Transcendent”.

It is therefore extremely important – the Pope continued – the service that Universities can give; that you and the Universities that you represent can give, each with their own characteristics, to reconsider and adjust our development models, by bringing together the best intellectual and moral energies. Students do not settle for mediocrity, for a mere re-submission of data, nor of a professional education without prospects. This is shown by the great mobilisation of many Ph.D. students and researchers in economics, coordinated by your Universities, with the aim of creating new and efficient responses, overcoming obsolete systems related to a fruitless culture based on power plays”.

The Coordinamento Regionale delle Università del Lazio addressed the Holy Father highlighting the activities undertaken in this period and the most urgent situations: “Our commitment to welcoming students is commitment to peace. Our classrooms are living testimony of inclusion and tolerance, peace and integration in the name of  knowledge and culture. For this reason we keep on being optimist for the future. Among the initiatives undertaken we cannot fail to mention the one in favour of students and fellow professors from Ukraine, as well as the one of the past months for refugees from Afghanistan and other countries affected by war and poverty. Our Committee is constantly engaged in a spirit of dialogue and cooperation, in the joint commitment to promote the access to higher education and all necessary circumstances in order for our university system to offer students. Next Jubilee, in 2025, recently announced, might represent a finish line for several initiatives, for which we can ensure our full availability”.

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