5 October 2021 | Address of His Holiness


Clementine Hall

[…] If we desire a more fraternal world, we need to educate young people “to
acknowledge, appreciate and love each person, regardless of physical proximity,
regardless of where he or she was born or lives” (Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, 1). The
fundamental principle “Know yourself” has always guided education. Yet we
should not overlook other essential principles: “Know your brother or sister”, in
order to educate in welcoming others (cf. Encyclical Fratelli Tutti; Document on
Human Fraternity, Abu Dhabi, 4 February 2019); “Know creation”, in order to
educate in caring for our common home (cf. Encyclical Laudato Si’) and “Know
the Transcendent”, in order to educate in the great mystery of life. We are
concerned to ensure an integral formation that can be summed up in knowledge
of ourselves, our brothers and sisters, creation and the Transcendent. We cannot
fail to speak to young people about the truths that give meaning to life.
Religions have always had a close relationship with education, accompanying
religious activities with educational, scholastic and academic ones. As in the
past, so also in our day, with the wisdom and humanity of our religious
traditions, we want to be a stimulus for a renewed educational activity that can
advance universal fraternity in our world.
If in the past, our differences set us at odds, nowadays we see in them the
richness of different ways of coming to God and of educating young people for
peaceful coexistence in mutual respect. For this reason, education commits us
never to use God’s name to justify violence and hatred towards other religious
traditions, to condemn all forms of fanaticism and fundamentalism, and to
defend the right of each individual to choose and act in accordance with his or
her conscience.
If in the past, also in the name of religion, discrimination was practiced against
ethnic, cultural, political and other minorities, today we want to be defenders of
the identity and dignity of every individual and to teach young people to accept
everyone without discrimination. For this reason, education commits us to accept
people as they are, not how we want them to be, without judging or condemning
If in the past, the rights of women, children and the most vulnerable were not
always respected, today we are committed firmly to defend those rights and to
teach young people to be a voice for the voiceless. For this reason, education
impels us to reject and denounce every violation of the physical and moral
integrity of each individual. Education must make us realize that men and
women are equal in dignity; there is no room for discrimination. […]