Pope Applauds Church's Commitment to Education Through the Millennia

During 1st General Audience Since Close of Jubilee Year, Decries Injustice of Children Left Illiterate

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In a world with so many technological advances, the number of children today who are illiterate is not only an injustice, it’s even hard to understand how this can happen.
Pope Francis stressed this during this morning’s General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, while continuing his catechesis on two more spiritual works of mercy, namely “counseling the doubtful” and “teaching the ignorant.”
Francis mentioned the connotation of the word ignorant today, saying that it is too harsh, and that this work of mercy refers simply to those who don’t know something and who must be taught.
Both these works of mercy are within everyone’s reach, he said.
An Injustice
Speaking specifically of education, he said that regardless of what has been achieved over the years, sad realities are still very prevalent.
“We think, for instance, of all those children who still suffer from illiteracy. This is hard to understand: in a world where technical-scientific progress is so high, there are illiterate children!”
“It’s an injustice,” the Pope decried. “How many children suffer from a lack of education; it’s a condition of great injustice that affects the very dignity of the person. Without education, one then easily becomes prey to exploitation and to different forms of social hardship.”
The Church has always worked to combat these injustices, the Jesuit Pontiff reflected, noting how since the beginning the Church has committed herself to educating, especially because “Her evangelizing mission entails the commitment to restore dignity to the poorest.”
“How many Christians, laymen, consecrated brothers and sisters, and priests gave their life in instruction, in the education of children and of young people. This is great: I invite you to pay homage to them with loud applause! [Applause of the faithful].”
“These pioneers of education,” he continued, “understood in depth the work of mercy, and such was their lifestyle as to transform society itself. Through simple work and few structures they were able to restore dignity to so many people!”
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-on-education/

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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