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Pope Francis speaks to members of the Blanquerna Foundation at Ramon Llull University based in Barcelona, Spain, during a meeting at the Vatican May 3, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said that some universities are “too liberal” and do not place enough emphasis on forming their students into whole people.

Speaking May 3 on the need for holistic higher education, the pope noted by contrast “some universities I know in America that are too liberal and only seek to train technicians and specialists.”

“They forget that they have to form men and women, people of integrity who try to give the best of themselves in the service to which God calls them,” he said, while “knowing that they are pilgrims, that in reality everything is a journey toward a goal that surpasses this reality.”

Pope Francis’ comments came during a meeting with members of the Blanquerna Foundation at Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, Spain, and named after Blessed Ramon Llull, a Catholic philosopher, poet and theologian who died in 1315.

The pope said that young people need an education that helps them find inspiration in figures like Blessed Ramon who offer “simple models of life, natural models of life in which we can serve the Lord and be happy,” rather than “fantastic heroes who seek to evade our reality.”

Pope Francis praised the foundation, which began as a school for teacher training inspired by the principles of Christian humanism, for instilling in young people “the certainty that the steps of the Christian hero are not marked by the desire for careerism but are a response to a call.”

“Careerism does so much harm,” he said, “ because it is not communitarian, it is individualistic, and that does harm.”

Instead, “being called to positions of even greater responsibility must be the result of excellence in the service entrusted to a person,” the pope said.

And after achieving a goal or task, he added, “the Christian must tend to an encounter with the Lord, to a full dedication to divine service.”

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