Pope exhorts universities to encourage a passion for the truth

.- On Friday, after receiving participants of a conference promoted by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy Father stressed that it is the duty of Catholic universities to promote a passion for the Truth in its educators so that family values will be strengthened.

The conference participants, who have been meeting to reflect upon the identity and mission of communications faculties in Catholic universities, were encouraged to have a commitment to the truth because, “the art of communication is by its nature linked to an ethical value, to the virtues that are the foundation of morality.”

Catholic educators should “nourish and reward that passion for truth and goodness that is always strong in the young,” the Pope said.

The best way to nourish young people is by advocating for “truth in information”. This could take the form of a dialogue that involves bringing our peers to reflect upon events, with the aim of being educators of human beings and builders of a better world.”

“It is also necessary to promote justice and solidarity, and at all times to respect the value and dignity of individuals, who have the right not to be injured in matters concerning their private life,"

Also of concern to the Holy Father were those who are economically and socially marginalized.  The latest advances in communications technology should be made available to them, rather than "used to increase the distance that separates those people from the new networks being developed at the service of social life, information and learning."

"It would also be a serious matter," said the Holy Father, "if the globalizing tendency in the world of communications were to weaken or eliminate traditional customs and local cultures, especially those that have managed to strengthen family and social values, love, solidarity and respect for life."

These local efforts received the Pope’s praise since, "despite the high financial cost and the vast human resources required,” religious communities “have opened Catholic universities in developing countries."

Pope Benedict also recalled how, during the course of the congress, attention had turned to the matter of the identity of Catholic universities and schools.  He echoed his address to the Catholic educators in the U.S. saying, "such identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students; it is above all a question of conviction, of truly believing that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man become clear."

"As experts in the theory and practice of communication, and as educators who are training a new generation of communicators, yours is a privileged role, not only in your students' lives, but also in the mission of your local Churches and their pastors to make the Good News of God's love known to everyone,” he concluded.

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July 29, 2014

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