DADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Your Eminence Cardinal Krol,
1. I am happy to welcome to the Vatican today the Regents of the Catholic University of America. You are people who know the necessity of Catholic education and who are firmly committed to supporting the Church’s efforts in this regard. Thus, as I greet you and welcome you to Rome, I also wish to thank you, in my own name and in the name of the Church, for the contribution you are making to the future of the Church and society by your generous support of the Catholic University.
2. From my many years of close association with a Catholic University in my own country, I have come to appreciate, at first hand, the special role which the academic community fulfils in the Church’s mission of evangelization. It is linked in a vital way with the Gospel’s impact on the evolution of thought and culture and with the integral development of society. As I stated in the Apostolic Constitution on Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties, “the Church’s mission of spreading the Gospel not only demands that the Good News be preached ever more widely and to ever greater numbers of men and women, but that the very power of the Gospel should permeate thought patterns, standards of judgement, and norms of behaviour: in a word, it is necessary that the whole of human culture be steeped in the Gospel” (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Sapientia Christiana, I).
3. Catholic educators take up this challenge in countries around the world, aware of the fact that the Christian message is not tied to any one culture exclusively, but that it is intended to uplift and strengthen them all. Your nation, like every other nation, boasts a unique history and culture, both of which exert great influence upon the thinking and acting of your citizens. In this context, who does not see the importance of Catholic institutions of higher education? They offer an authentic service to all the citizens of your country, and in particular to the enrichment of the American culture. Your own efforts, then, as Regents, are not only a needed support for the vital work of the Catholic University but also a contribution to the future of the United States.
4. I cannot close without extending a special word of gratitude to the members of the University’s Orchestra and Chorus. I am pleased that you have been able to be present at this audience. How good it is for all of us to sing and praise God’s Name. You remind us of this truth as you use your musical talents for the glory and honour of God. May the Lord fill you with much joy as you uplift the hearts of others through your hymns and songs.
And to all of you who have come to Rome, I impart my Apostolic Blessing. May the events of these days deepen your trust in the loving providence of God.
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