.- In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of Romeâs LUMSA university (Libera Universita Maria Santissma Assunta,) the Holy Father received 7,000 members of the institution today. Acknowledging the university's well-defined Catholic identity, he called them on to a further âdialogue between faith and reason, in an ideal attempt to integrate knowledge and values.â
The Pope noted that the university came into being as a result of Pope Pius XI's Encyclical âDivini illius Magistriâ and began its activities in the climate of commitment to education inspired by the encyclical. He told his audience that their university began âwith a well-defined Catholic identity, also with the encouragement of the Holy See with which it maintains very close ties.â
Pope Benedict also told the members of the university that the LUMSAâs dual focus, that of âremaining faithful to the original idea of [foundress] Mother Tincani and, at the same time, responding to the new challenges of societyâ is still necessary today. The Pontiff added that the task of teaching is of critical importance, since âany profession can become an occasion to bear witness to values that were absorbed during the academic period, and to translate them into practice."
Then Pope Benedict emphasized the transcendent nature of universities and their studies, which donât have their end simply in the acquisition of knowledge. âToday, as yesterday, the university needs true masters capable of transmitting, alongside academic information and knowledge, rigorous research methods and profound motivations.â
Commending the university itself for its dedication to the ideals upon which it was founded, The Holy Father said, âLUMSA is a Catholic university which has this Christian inspiration as a specific element of its identityâ¦ it aims to undertake academic activity oriented towards the search for truth, in a dialogue between faith and reason, in an ideal attempt to integrate knowledge and values.â
The Holy Father concluded by calling on the students to maintain their âhearts and minds open to the truthâ in order to become âbuilders of a more just and united society.â