Words of greeting of the Undersecretary, mons. Vincenzo Zani,
of the Congregation for Catholic Education
at the General Meeting of WUCT - UMEC
October 27, 2012) Rome
I am very pleased to extend greetings from the Congregation for Catholic Education and myself to the General Assembly and the International Congress of the World Union of Catholic Teachers (WUCT). I especially thank the President, Prof. Mark Philpot, and those who have been engaged in organizing this meeting, for their invitation gives me the opportunity to reaffirm the special concern of the Holy See for education, together with appreciation for the tough and often hidden work of so many persons dedicated to the mission of education, who promote Christian principles in the difficult area of schools and the training of the new generations.
Today’s General Meeting stands in front of a difficult choice to make: either to continue to exist as World Union of Catholic Teachers, or to initiate the procedures for dissolution. The difficulties, but also the signs of hope, have been presented to you by the President. For my part, on behalf of the Congregation for Catholic Education, I wish to reaffirm appreciation for the work done all along these years in favour of the promotion and support of Catholic teachers and educators both in public and Catholic schools. Through numerous initiatives, the WUCT has attended to the training and formation of teachers, that is, the required qualifications, initial and ongoing training, human and spiritual life, of those who are called to work in the educational institutions of the Church and to bring the witness of the Gospel in the world of 'education. The Church is still in need of such action, especially in the perspective of a renewed effort for the New Evangelization and in the situation of educational emergency often recalled by Pope Benedict XVI. The context today is certainly very different from that in which the WUCT was born after the end of World War II, but it requires the same enthusiasm and the same dedication in the sensitive area of education, the frontier land for the future of mankind. For this reason, my greeting is an expression of gratitude for what has been done since the foundation, but also intends to open up to hope for the future, ensuring the WUCT of full support from the Congregation for Catholic Education to find out and promote ways to recovery and thus start again with new impetus. The Dicastery, therefore, is willing to work together to overcome the logistical and financial difficulties of the
as well as to support collaboration with the Education Offices of Bishops’
In conclusion I would like to make my own the title of the last General Meeting of WUCT celebrated here in Rome in 2008: "The courage to teach: context, challenges, role" and hand it back to you as: "The courage to start again: context, challenges and role", to start again in a new context, with new challenges and in new ways, aware of rendering a service to the Church and to humanity. This is my wish to you and my hope.