Seemingly abandoning centuries of Catholic tradition on education, Pope Francis called for a “universal” interfaith “global village” to take over schooling and teach children everywhere how to properly care for the earth and get along with each other.
Critics expressed alarm over the plan, however. Among those speaking out are leading Catholic education experts such as former senior education policy advisor Charlotte Iserbyt from the Ronald Reagan administration.
“We need a Global Compact on Education aimed at developing a new universal solidarity and a new humanism,” the pope explained without elaborating on what he meant by the term humanism. Global “compacts,” of course, are being used more and more frequently by the United Nations to advance its agenda, most recently on mass migration.
“We must unite our efforts to create an educational alliance to form mature individuals who are able to live within and for society,” he continued. The precise meaning of living “for society” was not explained, but traditional Catholic doctrine has held that people should live for God. Communists and socialists, on the other hand, have long maintained that individuals should live “for society.”
Change is the goal. But every change, Francis explained, demands an “educational process” to bring it about. “We cannot create a change without educating for the change,” the pope continued without explaining the exact nature of the global “change” he hoped would result from his new educational paradigm.
Bizarrely, considering Catholic doctrine on the primary role of parents in the education of children, Francis used the same language as Hillary Clinton, author of It Takes a Village, to expand on his controversial vision.
“According to an African proverb, ‘it takes a whole village to educate a child,’” the pope said as he read his prepared remarks announcing the new effort, saying the village could “form” young people and “instill” in them his views on society. “We have to create such a village before we can educate.”
“In this kind of village it is easier to find global agreement about an education that integrates and respects all aspects of the person, uniting studies and everyday life, teachers, students and their families, and civil society in its intellectual, scientific, artistic, athletic, political, business and charitable dimensions,” Francis continued.
“We need to make sure that, in this village, a global convergence leads to an alliance between the earth’s inhabitants and our ‘common home’,” he said, adding that education should bring about his vision of peace, openness, and justice among “all peoples.”
Finally, Francis said the new education should be rooted in the awareness of the alleged “need to find other ways envisioning economics, politics, growth, and progress.”
The focal point of the initiative will be the “Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance” event hosted by the Vatican. The confab, which Francis hopes will bring together top political and religious leaders, will begin May 14, 2020, to mark the 5-year anniversary of his environmental encyclical “Laudato si.”
Speaking of the supposed need to “care for our common home” and to understand the “urgency” of it, the Roman Catholic pontiff declared that “we have to focus on education.” A new website that went live the same day as the announcement can be found at www.educationglobalcompact.org.
It was clear that this “global village” to educate children would not be exclusively Catholic. In fact, during the announcement, Francis pointed to a controversial agreement he signed with the Islamic Grand Imam of Al Azar in Abu Dhabi that was blasted even by Catholic theologians.
The education announcement came just weeks after the 10th World Conference of Religions for Peace. The controversial summit, which was well attended by senior Catholic clerics, called for a global religious alliance to advance globalism, the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and international education.
Catholic education has traditionally been highly regarded for academic and religious excellence. However, with half of Catholic dioceses in the United States adopting the toxic Obama-backed Common Core, that reputation has been eroding quickly. If the pope’s publicly articulated vision comes about, though, Catholic education may cease to exist altogether.