There is an urgent need to reunite faith and culture, Pope tells universities

.- This afternoon Pope Benedict XVI met with professors and students of Roman Pontifical Universities and discussed the “urgent need, which still persists today, to overcome the separation between faith and culture.”

Speaking as well to participants in the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC), the Holy Father drew from John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution “Sapienta christiana,” which has its 30th anniversary this year, and stated its continued relevance in today's society.

The concepts of “Sapienta christiana,” the Pope continued, “still retain their validity. Indeed in modern society where knowledge is becoming ever more specialized and sectorial but is profoundly marked by relativism, it is even more necessary to open oneself to the wisdom which comes from the Gospel.”

“Man, in fact, is incapable of gaining a full understanding of himself and the world without Jesus Christ,” continued the Holy Father. “He alone illuminates man's true dignity, his vocation and ultimate destiny, and opens his heart to a firm and lasting hope.”

Pope Benedict then discussed the methods for reuniting faith and culture and called for “a greater commitment to evangelization in the firm conviction that Christian Revelation is a transforming power.”

“It is capable of of illuminating, purifying and renewing man's conduct and his cultures,” continued the Pontiff, “and must remain the focal point for teaching and research...”

Professors and students “must never lose sight of the goal to be pursued,” said the Pope, which is “that of becoming instruments for the announcement of the Gospel.”

The Pope concluded his address by saying, “Catholic Universities, faithful to an identity which makes a specific point of Christian inspiration, are called to promote a 'new humanistic synthesis,' knowledge that is 'wisdom capable of directing man in the light of his first beginnings and his final ends,' knowledge illuminated by faith.”

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