.- Pope John Paul II hopes that “the lively dialogue” between faith and reason will last and “none of the current ideologies will be able to interrupt it.”
The Pope made this statement while accepting the Academic Golden Laurel from the academic communities of Wroclaw and Opole, Poland, for the 50th anniversary of the defense of his thesis in order to become a professor in the Department of Theology at Jagiellonian University.
The Pope thanked the representatives, who were accompanied by Cardinal Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz, Archbishop of Wroclaw, and recalled that he was the last professor to join the Department of Theology before the communist authorities shut it down.
"It was an act," he said, "meant to divide the institutions, as well as to pit reason and faith against each other. I am not speaking about that distinction that was born in the late medieval age on the basis of the autonomy of the sciences, but of the separation that was imposed with violence on the spiritual heritage of the nation."
John Paul II said that he never abandoned “the conviction that those efforts would not achieve their goal. This conviction grew strong in me thanks to personal interaction with men of science, professors from different disciplines who bore witness to the profound desire for dialogue and the common search for truth."
Referring to his encyclical, "Faith and reason," he added that "faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth."
"Your presence here," he concluded, "inspires in me the hope that this lively dialogue will last and that none of the current ideologies will be able to interrupt it. With this hope, I direct my gaze toward all universities, academies and high schools."