John Paul II Urges "Schools of Faith" at University Level

Sees Them as Places of Meeting Between Faith and Reason

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 22, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II encouraged the creation of "schools of faith" at a university level, where young people can harmonize their academic formation with their Catholic beliefs.



When the Pope met Friday with the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Paris, he stressed the need to propose to the faithful in these institutions the possibility "of an understanding of the faith which will enable them to harmonize better their religious knowledge with human learning."

"In this way, they will be able to make an ever more solid synthesis between their scientific and technical achievements and the religious experience," the Holy Father said.

To this end the Pope called for the promotion of "schools of faith within or outside university institutions, but with their support."

"They are particularly equipped to offer quality education, in fidelity to the magisterium, not only from an intellectual perspective but also with the desire to develop the spiritual and liturgical life of the Christian people, and to help them to discover the moral exigencies linked to a life according to the Gospel," he added.

An example of such institutions mentioned by the Pope is the Cathedral School of Paris, a place where he said the students can "untiringly go deeper into the mystery of the faith so that -- after having understood it and assimilated it better -- they transmit it with an appropriate language without transforming its substance."

The Pope added: "This harmony between a rational understanding of Revelation and an inculturated transmission is, I believe, one of the challenges of today's world."