ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 26 October 2002
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the Institute for Human Sciences celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its establishment, it gives me great pleasure to meet you here at the Vatican. In a special way I greet Professor Krzysztof Michalski, one of the original members of the Institute, who is present with us today. Our meeting enables me to express my own personal appreciation for the Instituteís work, which has included the organization of eight memorable colloquia at Castel Gandolfo. I also take this opportunity to honour the memory of the late Jozef Tischner, the founding president of the Institute, who was so deeply committed to its project of fostering a dialogue on the future of Europe open to voices from both East and West.
Today, twenty years after its establishment, the Institute for Human Sciences has amply lived up to the vision of its founders. The events of 1989 and the quickened pace of Europeís unification have shown the need for precisely the kind of disciplined analysis, broad-ranging discussions and concrete proposals to which the Institute is dedicated. In these years, the Institute has made a significant contribution to a more responsible shaping of the political, economic, social and cultural future of the Continent. I express my hope that in the years ahead it will continue to emphasize the "human" dimension of the immense possibilities and challenges opening up before mankind at the dawn of this new millennium. In the end, any solution to the grave crises which face contemporary society, and any effort to create a future more worthy of man must be based on an appreciation of the innate dignity and the spiritual grandeur of each human being. It must likewise show respect for the rich variety of cultures and the religious values which have given historical expression to the quest for authentic freedom and the building of a world of solidarity, justice and peace.
On this happy anniversary I offer prayerful good wishes for the continuing work of the Institute. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke Godís blessings of joy and peace.