Rome, Italy, Nov 17, 2018 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Monday established a curriculum in Sciences of Peace at the Pontifical Lateran University, involving the “pope’s university” because of the special bond it has with the Holy See in a project to “foster seeds of peace.”
In a letter sent to Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar general of Rome and chancellor of the university, Pope Francis put the new curriculum under the protection of St. John XXIII and St. Paul VI, “heralds of peace.”
The announcement was read at the end of the inaugural lecture of the new academic year. The lecture was delivered by Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, secretary of the Council of Cardinals that is helping Pope Francis to reform the Roman Curia.
The new curriculum within the Pontifical Lateran University will likely be part of this reform.
In his letter to Cardinal De Donatis, Pope Francis said that the Church “feels the call to inspire and support every initiative that might secure people and countries a path to peace.”
He added that the Church’s effort also requires “the knowledge and study of a patrimony of values, notions and tools able to tear down the trend to isolationism, closeness and power mentalities that bear violence and destructions.”
Pope Francis then stressed that “in order to be a credible mediator,” the Church is called to be involved in finding solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defence of life, human and civil rights and so forth.”
The pope said that this credibility is highly required while the Holy See is committed to pontifical diplomacy and the international community, and stressed that the network of Catholic universities has a central role in building the culture of peace.
For this reason, the pope kicked off a new path of the “Church which goes forth” and established the curriculum of Sciences of Peace, the final goal of which is “to incarnate the Word of God for the Church and for humanity of the Third Millennium.”
The curriculum will include theological, philosophical, juridical, economic and social structure, and will provide a bachelor’s degree and a license.
This curriculum, in Pope Francis’ intention, will be the reference point for the promotion of “a proper preparation of current and future workers of peace.”
Pope Francis’ letter was read after Bishop Semeraro had lectured on “The proposal of reform for the Roman Curia.”
The secretary of the Council of Cardinals stressed that the program for curial reform is being scrutinized from the canon law point of view, and for this reason Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Mellino as adjunct secretary to the Council of Cardinals Oct. 27 and also a member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
Bishop Semeraro said that part of the reform has been already enacted with the establishment of the Council for Economy, the Dicasteries for Laity, Family and Life, the Promotion of Integral Human Development and Communication, and finally of the Third Section of the Secretariat of State.
The new pastoral constitution that will regulate functions and tasks of the Roman Curia offices is provisionally titled Praedicate evangelium, meaning “preach the Gospel,” which was the title proposed in summer 2015. The title of the constitution also fits with the “missionary choice” Pope Francis asked for in the 2014 apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium.
As part of the reform, Bishop Semeraro also included Pope Francis’ decision to hold the Lenten spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia outside of Rome. This is a sign, Semeraro said, that “reform, in Pope Francis’ mind, is really much more than any structural change.”