Get Ready for "Christian Spring," Urges John Paul II

Extols Need for High Standards at Catholic Universities

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 1, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II said that Catholic universities must be distinguished by their quality of teaching and research in order to promote dialogue with the world.



The Pope touched on the vocation of Catholic universities in the message he sent today to Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, on the occasion of its plenary session.

The congregation has authority over all the universities, faculties, institutes, and ecclesiastical and lay schools of higher studies that are under ecclesiastics.

After acknowledging that Catholic universities "represent a rich heritage for the Church," the papal message explained that "in the great Christian spring that God is preparing, they must be distinguished by the quality of the teaching and research, so that they are capable of dialoguing fully with other faculties and universities."

"Given the speed of the present scientific and technological development, these institutions are called to a continual renewal, seeing the way in which the new discoveries may be used for the genuine good of each person and of the whole of human society," the Holy Father wrote.

To achieve this objective, he mentioned one of the concerns he has expressed most often ever since he was a university professor in Poland: the need for dialogue among the various disciplines of learning.

"In particular," the Pope stated, "dialogue is revealed fruitful with a philosophy of a genuinely metaphysical scope and with theology itself."