Pope Cites Importance of ‘Three Languages’ in Education

Pope addressing rectors of Catholic Universities

Education in a university goes far beyond learning concepts — and requires overcoming the legacy of the Enlightenment. It also involved three languages.

This was at the core of the message Pope Francis delivered on Monday, to participants in the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC) Convention, which took place  at the Augustinianum Congress Center, in Rome on the theme: “New Frontiers” at the Vatican. for university leaders. The future of health and the university ecosystem “.

“It is necessary to overcome the legacy of the Enlightenment,” Pope Francis said. “Educating, in general, but particularly in universities, is not just filling the head with concepts. It takes three languages.”

Mind, Heart, Hands

He said those three languages, which must work in harmony are:

  • the language of the mind
  • the language of the heart
  • the language of the hands

He explained that the three must work together “so that one thinks in harmony with what one feels and does; feel in harmony with what you think and do, do it in harmony with what you feel and think. A general harmony, not separated from the totality.

“The university has a conscience, but also an intellectual and moral strength whose responsibility goes beyond the person to be educated and extends to the needs of all humanity.”

Leadership training achieves its goals when it manages to invest academic time with the aim of developing not only the mind but also the “heart”, consciousness, and practical skills of the student; scientific and theoretical knowledge must be mixed with the sensitivity of the scholar and researcher so that the fruits of the study are not acquired in a self-referential sense, only to affirm one’s professional position, but are projected in a relational and social sense.

Ultimately, said the Pope, just as every scientist and every man of culture has an obligation to serve more because he knows more, so the university community, especially if it is of Christian inspiration, and the ecosystem of academic institutions must respond together to the same obligation.

Obligation to serve

In this perspective, the path that the Church, and with it Catholic intellectuals, must take, is briefly expressed by the Patron of the International Federation of Catholic Universities, the new canonized Cardinal Newman, in this way: “The Church is not afraid of knowledge, but it purifies everything, it does not suffocate any element of our nature but cultivates everything”.