By Devin Watkins
Catholic schools and universities across the globe are continuing to implement the Global Compact on Education, which Pope Francis relaunched in October 2020.
The initiative seeks to unite educators in the mission of helping Catholic education create fraternity, peace, and justice.
Surge in local initiatives
The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, which spearheads the Compact, released a press statement on Friday, expressing support for the many local initiatives which have begun despite the setback caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A global event was initially scheduled for 14 May 2020, but was cancelled as the coronavirus spread.
“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,” read the communique.
The Congregation announced that it will release three documents, or “tools”, on 5 October, which will help Catholics schools implement the Compact.
A Vademecum—or guide—will be directed toward 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, seeks to offer guidelines for implementing the five central themes of the Compact: “interreligious and intercultural dialogue; dignity and human rights; the culture of peace and citizenship; fraternity and cooperation; and, technology and holistic ecology.”
The third tool—an Exemplar—offers an agreement that can be used at the local level “to create an operational alliance to put into practice the Global Compact for Education.”
The three tools will be published in five languages on the same day as the Meeting between Representatives of Religions, on Tuesday, 5 October.
The meeting gathers 20-odd representatives of the world’s different religious confessions, with the goal of revitalizing “our commitment towards and with young people”.
Culture of dialogue
Pope Francis originally launched the Global Compact on Education on 12 September 2019, and then relaunched it with a video message on 15 October 2020, following the pandemic-induced delay.
He has connected the initiative with his encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti.
According to the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Pope is inviting everyone to make a commitment to young people, “so that they become central to a culture of dialogue and a civilization of harmony.”