The Cardinal Newman Society, a national organization that works to strengthen and renew Catholic higher education, is urging American Catholics to pray Sunday in solidarity with Pope Benedict XVI following offensive protests that forced him to postpone an address at Rome’s La Sapienza University.
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, has urged Catholics to rally in St. Peter’s Square during Sunday’s recitation of the Angelus as a powerful display of support for the Holy Father, whose visit to La Sapienza was postponed because of protests against the Pope and false accusations that the he is not supportive of scientific discovery.
“For American Catholics who cannot be in Rome, we urge special prayers on Sunday to demonstrate both our love for Pope Benedict and our steadfast confidence in the unity of faith and reason,” said CNS president Patrick J. Reilly. “We hope that pastors will join us by including special prayers in Sunday’s petitions and by teaching Catholics the truth about the Church’s centuries-old dedication to science and higher education.”
Noting that Pope Benedict will soon visit the U.S., Reilly said that Catholics should draw upon the La Sapienza incident as “a valuable teaching moment for the Church and the secular world, which would seek truth without recognizing the Father and Creator, the fount of all truth,” said Reilly.
The unity of faith and reason has been a lifetime interest of Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Pope John Paul II, both of whom had been university scholars with great appreciation for higher education. The noted philosopher Ralph McInerny has said, “It sometimes seems that the only voice insisting on the power of human reason is that of the Holy Father.”