In an article written for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fr. Michael J. Garanzini, president of Loyola University Chicago and secretary for higher education for the Society of Jesus, takes a look at his brother Jesuit who has been elected as Pope Francis, and ponders what his election might mean for Catholic education.
In the column Fr. Garanzini expresses that some may be “disappointed” with the Holy Father’s positions.
“What might this mean for those of us who are Catholic educators and for our institutions?” asks Fr. Garanzini. “Could there be significance here for all of us in higher education?”
Again, we will need to see as this papacy unfolds,but there will no doubt be an emphasis on the needs and rights of the poor.Access to a good education, and the preparation of leaders with deep concern for the welfare of all, is a theme Pope Francis has sounded before.
We should also expect that he will understand, as did his predecessors, that research and scholarly endeavors can be powerful contributors to building a just society, even as they can be harnessed for forces that do the opposite. As a Jesuit, the pope has expectations for the role education can play that may well be quite high.
My guess is that his approach to the issues and challenges that the Catholic Church faces today will be firm and clear, in short order. His positions, however, may be disappointing for some who will feel that they do not adequately deal with the problems the church is facing.
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