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March 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has announced that it is delaying its Global Compact on Education event, which had been scheduled for May, until October due to “the uncertainty linked to the spread of Coronavirus.”

Pope Francis launched the initiative last September, saying that “a global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism.” 

A week-long program of events related to the “education pact” was scheduled to take place in Rome from 10 to 17 May. The event will now take place 11 to 18 October, with the pact due to be signed on 14 October.

The Congregation for Catholic Education, responsible for organizing the event, released a statement today saying: “The uncertainty linked to the spread of Coronavirus, along with the decisions taken by public authorities on a global scale, have led to the decision to postpone the anticipated meeting in order to allow the widest and most serene participation possible.”

Italy has been hit harder than any other European country by the Coronavirus, with, as of yesterday, more than 2,000 people confirmed to have contracted the virus, 52 of whom have died. 

Pope Francis has described his vision for the global event as the creation of an “educational village” to face new challenges, with “the human person at the center, investing creatively and responsibly in long-term projects” that “train individuals willing to offer themselves in service to the community.”

Last month, Archbishop Vincenzo Zani, the Vatican prelate tasked with organizing the Global Education Pact, explained that the theological vision at the heart of Pope Francis’ “new humanism” is one in which God “withdraws” so that man can be free. 

Last month, Jeffrey Sachs, the American economist and population control proponent told a Vatican workshop on the Global Education Pact, that the project should seek funding from individuals and organizations including U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, China’s wealthiest business magnate, UNESCO, the EU, various United Nations agencies, and the Islamic Development Bank.

In his annual New Year’s audience with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis told Vatican officials that the sexual abuse crisis had prompted him to call for the global event and signing of the education pact.

He told diplomats that “given the gravity of the harm involved [in the sexual abuse crisis], it becomes all the more urgent for adults not to abdicate their proper educational responsibilities, but to carry out those responsibilities with greater zeal, in order to guide young people to spiritual, human and social maturity.” 

With files from Diane Montagna

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