MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
To my Venerable Brother
This year is the centenary of the election as Pope of my venerable Predecessor St Pius X. Among the important initiatives with which this Patriarchate has wished to honour the memory of the Holy Pontiff, Patriarch of Venice from 1893 to 1903, is the creation of the St Pius X Institute of Canon Law - recently established by the Congregation for Catholic Education and aggregated to the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross - which intends to resume the tradition of canon law studies supervised by Patriarch Sarto.
The new Institute belongs to the Studium Generale Marcianum, an initiative with which the Church in Venice desires to deepen and encourage the educational and cultural dimension that is intrinsic to the work of evangelization. During my visit to the Diocese of Venice in 1985, I had the opportunity to recall that "a full harmony exists between this city, rich in culture, and an institution like the university which, in an eminent way through research, considers critically the reality of nature and the historical experience of man in order to enrich its patrimony of values, or to produce new culture, and to transmit this patrimony" (Address to the University Community of Cá Foscari, 17 June 1985; L'Osservatore Romano English edition [ORE], 5 August, p. 11). The Christian community could not fail to respond to this appeal. Through the Studium Generale Marcianum the faithful will be able to make their contribution to scientific research, in teaching and study at the various educational levels, in open and constructive dialogue with all the social and cultural spokespersons. In this way the Church in Venice wishes to respond to the unique civil, cultural and artistic vocation which Providence has entrusted to her in the course of her glorious history.
I hope that today, when the new Europe is endeavouring to give itself an identity, the work of the Studium Generale Marcianum will be able to reaffirm and demonstrate to one and all that the purpose of every culture is man: "Culture is that through which man, as man, becomes more man..." (Address to UNESCO, 2 June 1980, n. 7; ORE, 23 June, p. 9). May faith continue to irrigate the fields of the world to give growth to a civilization worthy of the human being!
From the Vatican, 8 December 2003
JOHN PAUL II