.- Pope Benedict XVI spoke this morning at the Pontifical Gregorian University, which was founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola and is considered the mother of the Jesuit order’s extensive system of universities. The Holy Father reminded students, faculty, and benefactors of the university that the fundamental questions of mankind cannot be answered without God.
Upon arriving at the university, which stands near Rome’s Trevi Fountain, Pope Benedict went immediately to the school’s chapel. The Holy Father spent some time in prayer before moving to the university’s central courtyard and greeting the waiting crowd.
The Pope reminded professors and students that "the effort of study and teaching, in order to be meaningful with regard to the Kingdom of God, must be supported by the theological virtues. The immediate objective of theological science, in its various aspects, is God Who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, God with a human face."
Pope Benedict also addressed the need for interreligious dialogue, noting that dialogue does not mean compromising one’s own faith. We cannot, “ignore relations with other religions." But, he said, such relations "are constructive only if they avoid all ambiguities that in any way weaken the essential contents of Christian faith in Christ, the only Savior of all mankind, and in the Church, a necessary sacrament for the salvation of all humanity."
The Holy Father spoke of that fact that Jesuit education has always placed a strong focus on the formation of the whole person and noted how the university's statutes and general regulations are currently being renewed, in order, he said, "to define the identity of the Gregorian University more clearly, facilitating the preparation of the most appropriate academic programs for carrying out its mission."
"As an ecclesial pontifical university, this academic institution is committed to 'sentire in Ecclesia et cum Ecclesia.' This is a commitment that arises from love for the Church, our Mother and Bride of Christ."