Pope Francis who is in Ecuador called for a new system of global justice based on human rights and care for the environment rather than economic profits.
"The goods of the Earth are meant for everyone," the Pope said, "and however much someone may parade his property, it has a social mortgage."
Lecturing students and teachers
The Pope told Catholic students and educators that the purpose of education is not to boost our social status or pad our bank accounts, but to find creative ways to help the poor and save the environment.
In an impassioned speech -- it was as animated as Francis has been thus far in his South American trip -- the Pope raised his voice, urging students to "make a fuss" and telling teachers not to "play the professor."
The setting for Tuesday's speech was the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, where a crowd of thousands gathered under drizzling skies.
"My question to you, as educators, is this: Do you watch over your students, helping them to develop a critical sense, an open mind capable of caring for today's world?" the Pope asked. "Are you able to encourage them not to disregard the world around them?"
That kind of education, Francis said, only takes place outside of the classroom. Like a teacher underlining an important point -- Francis taught high school and was rector of a college in Argentina -- the Pope raised his voice and pumped his arms.
"As a university, as educational institutions, as teachers and students, life itself challenges us to answer this question: What does the world need us for? Where is your brother?"
He urged the students, who cheered at the mention of their name, that the mark of a good education is a feeling of "greater responsibility, in the face of today's problems, to the needs of the poor, concern for the environment."
Those two themes, poverty and care for creation, are intricately intertwined, the Pope argued in his recent encyclical, "Laudato Si." Vatican officials said that Pope Francis chose the nations on this trip to highlight the political and spiritual lessons contained in the 180-page letter to the world.
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