This morning the Holy Father summoned “Ecclesiastical cultural institutions” to “welcome, study, apply and develop the consequences” of the teaching agenda he set forth in his encyclicals concerning the relationship between faith and reason (‘Fides et Ratio’) good and evil (‘Veritatis splendor’), faith and culture (‘Redemptoris missio’), civil and moral law (‘Evangelium vitae’), the Eastern and Western world (‘Slavorum apostoli’) and the North and South (‘Centesimus annus’).
He delivered the message in an address to the Congregation for Catholic Education on the 25th anniversary of “Sapientia Christianae,” the Apostolic Exhortation signed at the beginning of his pontificate concerning the exercise of the Church´s duty to teach.
The “noble vocation that distinguishes ecclesiastical universities and faculties” continued the Pope, is “to do everything in their power to join the world of science and culture to the truth of the faith in order to help others discover the saving nature of the divine plan in the reality of this world.”
The Pope emphasized the importance of studying “in depth the existing links between divine Revelation and new areas of knowledge in modern realities.”
The cultivation of topics such as or related to “safeguarding the dignity of the person, the defense of the weak and disadvantaged, respect for nature, rejecting violence, world solidarity,” is a particluarly important aspect of the universities’ mission at this time, and he noted the acheivements of scholars in the areas of “bioethics, Islamic studies, and human mobility.”
He reminded teachers that their responsibility for the formation of students must go hand in hand with a duty to explore truth in depth. They must be humbly open to God´s Word even as they rigorously seek perfection in their careers, always remembering that the authentic interpretation of Revelation is entrusted ‘only to the living Magisterium of the Church’, which exercises this duty in the name of Jesus Christ.”