Papal Address to Education-Seminar Participants
"Human Being Must Not Be Sacrificed to Success of Science"
VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's address to participants of a seminar on "The Cultural Heritage and Academic Values of the European University and the Attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area."
The Pope gave the address in Paul VI Hall on April 1. The seminar had been organized by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.
* * *
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Presbyterate,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you and cordially greet all of you who are taking part in the seminar on the theme: "The Cultural Heritage and Academic Values of the European University and the Attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area." You come from about 50 European countries that adhere to the so-called Bologna Process, to which the Holy See has also made its own contribution.
I greet Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, who has addressed courteous and respectful words to me on your behalf, at the same time explaining the objectives of your meeting, and I thank him for organizing this meeting in the Vatican in collaboration with the Conference of Rectors of the Pontifical Universities, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, UNESCO-CEPES and the Council of Europe, with the sponsorship of the European Commission.
I address a special greeting to the ministers and representatives of the various international bodies who have wished to attend.
In these days, your reflection has focused on the contribution that European universities, enriched by their long tradition, can offer to building the Europe of the third millennium, taking into account the fact that every cultural reality is both a memory of the past and a project for the future.
The Church intends to make her own contribution to this reflection as she has done over the centuries. She has taken a constant interest in the study centers and universities of Europe which, together with "the service of thought," have passed on to the young generations the values of a special cultural patrimony, enriched by two millenniums of humanist and Christian experience (cf. "Ecclesia in Europa," No. 59).
At first, monasticism exercised considerable influence. Its merits, both in the spiritual and religious context, also extend to the economic and intellectual spheres. In Charlemagne's time, real schools were founded with the Church's contribution, and the emperor wanted as many people as possible to benefit from them.
A few centuries later, the university came into being, receiving an essential impetus from the Church. Numerous European universities, from the University of Bologna to those of Paris, Krakow, Salamanca, Cologne, Oxford and Prague, to mention but a few, rapidly developed and played an important role in consolidating the European identity and building up its cultural heritage.
University institutions have always been distinguished by love of wisdom and the quest for truth, as the true purpose of universities, with constant reference to the Christian vision that recognizes the human being as the masterpiece of creation, since he is formed in the image and likeness of God (cf. Genesis 1:26-27).
The conviction that there is a profound unity between truth and good, between the eyes of the mind and those of the heart: "Ubi amor, ibi oculos," as Riccardo di San Vittore said (cf. "Beniamin minor," c. 13), has always been typical of this vision: Love makes one see. Universities came into being from the love of knowledge and from the curiosity of knowing, of knowing what the world is, what man is, but also from a knowledge that leads to action, that leads ultimately to love.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, with a quick glance at the "old" Continent it is easy to see the cultural challenges that Europe faces today, since it is committed to rediscovering its own identity, which is not exclusively economic or political. The basic question today, as in the past, remains the anthropological question: What is man? Where does he come from? Where must he go? How must he go?
In other words, it is a matter of clarifying the conception of the human being on which new projects are based.
And you are rightly asking yourselves which human being, which image of man, does the university intend to serve: an individual withdrawn into the defense of his own interests, a single perspective of interests, a materialistic perspective, or a person who is open to solidarity with others in the search for the true meaning of existence, which must be a common meaning that transcends the individual?
We also wonder what the relationship between the human person, science and technology is. If in the 19th and 20th centuries, technology made amazing progress, at the beginning of the 21st century, further steps were taken: Technology also took charge, thanks to computer science, of part of our mental processes, with consequences that involve our way of thinking and can condition our very freedom.
It must be forcefully stated that the human being cannot and must not ever be sacrificed to the success of science and technology: This is why the so-called anthropological question assumes its full importance.
For us, the heirs of the humanist tradition founded on Christian values, this question should be faced in the light of the inspiring principles of our civilization, which found in European universities authentic laboratories for research and for deepening knowledge.
"From the biblical conception of man Europe drew the best of its humanistic culture," John Paul II noted in his postsynodal exhortation "Ecclesia in Europa," "and, not least, advanced the dignity of the person as a subject of inalienable rights" (No. 25). Thus, "the Church," my venerable Predecessor added, "helped to spread and consolidate those values which have made European culture universal" (ibid.).
But man cannot understand himself fully if he ignores God. This is the reason why, at the time when the Europe of the third millennium is being built, the religious dimension of human existence cannot be neglected.
Here the special role of the university emerges as a scientific universe that is not merely limited to various specializations: In the current situation the university is required not to stop at teaching or imparting technical and professional knowledge, which are very important disciplines but do not suffice, for it must also undertake to play an attentive educational role at the service of the new generations, making use of the legacy of ideals and values that marked the past millenniums.
Thus, universities will be able to help Europe to preserve and rediscover its "soul," revitalizing the Christian roots that brought it into being.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, may God make your work and your efforts benefit the many young people who are the hope of Europe. I accompany this wish with the assurance of a special prayer for each one of you, and I implore the divine blessing for you all.
© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Pope Benedict XVI - Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000
Pope, Education, Science, Human, Catholic
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Try this fun Lent Quiz today!
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the First Week of Lent - Day 6
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst ...
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 HD Video
- St. Simon: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 18, 2018
- Daily Readings for Sunday, February 18, 2018
- 'Living Lent': Monday of the First Week of Lent - Day 5
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, February 19th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, February 18th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, February 17th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education