CNA Staff, Oct 12, 2020 / 13:00 pm
The rector of a Catholic university in Poland urged academics worldwide Monday to sign an appeal committing themselves to promoting the teachings of St. John Paul II.
Fr. Mirosław Kalinowski, rector of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, launched the appeal Oct. 12, as the centenary of the Polish pope’s birth is marked around the world.
The “International Appeal of Professors and Academic Teachers” emphasizes the urgency of introducing the thought of Karol Wojtyła, who took the name John Paul II when he was elected pope, to a new generation of students.
The appeal said: “The month of October is traditionally associated with the beginning of the academic year at our universities, and this year, October 16th marks the 42nd anniversary of the election of John Paul II, while 2020 marks the centennial anniversary of his birth.”
“This is a good opportunity to introduce once again Karol Wojtyła’s teaching in philosophy, culture, and sociology into our lecture programs, didactic classes, and scientific work; and we encourage you to do that.”
John Paul II, who served as pope for 26 years until 2005, was a prolific writer of poems, plays, and theological and philosophical works. He set out a “theology of the body” in his early general audience addresses and published 14 encyclicals.
Highlighting his 1998 encyclical “Fides et Ratio,” on the relationship between faith and reason, the appeal said that John Paul II had “prophetically indicated” a fruitful path for higher education in the 21st century as a way of helping students to answer questions about life’s meaning.
It said: “This search for undeniable meaning is a challenge for our students today in the increasingly complicated reality that surrounds them. Technological development and the ever-more limitless possibilities of virtual communication accompanying it represent a great opportunity, but they also create unprecedented threats.”