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Pope speaks of his love for school

Catholic World News - May 12, 2014

Addressing a large audience of Italian teachers, students, and non-teaching staff in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis spoke about his love for school.

The Pope recounted that his love for school began when he was six years old, when his first teacher “taught me to love it.” He continued to visit her regularly until she was 98.

School, he continued, “is synonymous with openness to reality. At least it should be!” The school should be a place where, following the example of teachers, students learn to learn.

Emphasizing that schools and families should be complementary, Pope Francis said the school is also a place of socialization where a child meets persons of different ages, cultures, and abilities. He asked those assembled to repeat the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

The Pope said that he also loves schools because the school’s mission is develop a sense of the good, the true, and the beautiful, which are inseparable. “Education cannot be neutral,” he said: it can be positive or negative, enriching or impoverishing, or even corrupting.

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