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Cardinal Shares Love of Learning with Catholic Students

Friday, July 08, 2016

During his visit to Perth for the National Catholic Education Commission Conference 2016, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga SDB told students at St Norbert College that he and Pope Francis share the love for learning that the students have.

In visiting a chemistry classroom, Cardinal Rodriguez, a former science teacher and now one of Pope Francis’s key advisers, told students that the Pope had also been a keen scientist, working in a laboratory before training to become a priest.

“In a certain aspect, you are near the Pope because you are studying what he loved to study. I will take your greetings to him,” he said, according to a report in The Record.

In visiting a music class, the cardinal spoke of his fondness for jazz. In a geography class, he spoke of some of the challenges of life in Honduras. And in a conversation with economics students, he discussed his work lobbying for debt relief for developing countries under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.

“The actual system has to change. We can’t continue with a system of economy that has made the market the new idol, the new God,” he said.

“Everything is sacrificed for the worship of the market. You have a very big task for the future to transform a system that is not equal, that is not fair to all people.”

Echoing comments he made at NCEC 2016, Cardinal Rodriguez praised the network of 1,731 Catholic schools in Australia.

“The Australian system, in my perception, is the best in the world. You have so many values in the schools. The first of those values is discipline; you are so fond of order and punctuality,” he said.

“Also, participation; school is a place where young women and men feel at ease, feel at home in their school. When you feel this kind of system, that is attracting the people.”

Acting principal Clem Mulcahy said the cardinal’s engagement with young people in those informal classroom settings “gives the students an insight into someone who has a leadership position in the Church and is still able to relate to them at their level”.

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