Rome, October 8, 2021
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Pope Francis co-launched the new UNESCO Chair on Futures of Education for Sustainability at the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome in a ceremony at the university yesterday.
The Chair is named for both the Pope and the Patriarch, reports greek.vema.com.au.
Responding to current challenges requires a new way of learning and doing that is built on “openness, creativity, wider educational offerings, but also sacrifice, dedication, transparency and honesty in choosing, especially in these difficult times,” the Pope said during the ceremony, reports the National Catholic Reporter.
The attitude that “it’s always been done this way” is “suicide,” the Roman pontiff continued.
The launch of the Pope Francis-Pat. Bartholomew-UNESCO Chair coincided with the launch of a new academic program dedicated to “Care for our common home and safeguarding creation.”
Pat. Bartholomew said the initiatives reflect the collaboration between the two “sister churches” and their commitment to work to protect “God’s wonderful universe.” They also reflect a needed interreligious and interdisciplinary approach to the urgent environmental challenges of today, especially concerning climate change, he added.
Pope Francis also praised Pat. Bartholomew’s decades of ecological work.
On Monday, participants in a religious leaders’ summit in Rome, including Pope Francis, Pat. Bartholomew, and His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk of the Moscow Patriarchate, and representatives of non-Christian religions, made a joint appeal to the international community to take urgent measures to protect and heal the environment.