Pope's Address to Assembly of Catholic Universities
At the same time it is important to remember that the study of the sacred sciences must never be separated from prayer, from union with God, from contemplation -- as I reminded in the recent catechesis on Medieval monastic theology -- otherwise reflections on divine mysteries run the risk of becoming a vain intellectual exercise. Every sacred science, in the end, appeals to the "science of the saints," to their intuition of the mysteries of the living God, to wisdom, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit and which is the soul of "fides quaerens intellectum" (cfr general audience, Oct. 21, 2009).
The International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC) was born in 1924 by the initiative of some rectors and was recognized 25 years later by the Holy See. Dear rectors of Catholic universities, the 60th anniversary of the canonical erection of your federation is a most propitious occasion to evaluate the activity carried out and to outline future commitments.
To celebrate an anniversary is to thank God who has guided our steps, but it is also to take from one's own history a further impetus to renew the will to serve the Church. In this connection, your motto is also a program for the future of the federation: "Sciat ut Serviat" -- to know in order to serve.
In a culture that manifests a "lack of wisdom, of reflection, of thought capable of operating a guiding synthesis" ("Caritas in Veritate," 31), Catholic universities, faithful to their own identity that considers Christian inspiration as valid, are called to promote a "new humanistic synthesis" (ibid., 21), a learning that is "wisdom capable of guiding man in the light of its first principles and of its ultimate ends" (ibid., 30), a learning illumined by faith.
Dear friends, the service you carry out is valuable for the mission of the Church. While I express to all of you sincere wishes for the academic year initiated a short while ago and for the full success of the FIUC's Congress, I entrust each one of you and the institutions you represent to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, Seat of Wisdom, and am pleased to impart to all the apostolic blessing.
[Translation by ZENIT]
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