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Friday 1 February 2002

Your Eminences,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I warmly greet you with a sense of gratitude for the goals that motivate you.
I thank Dr Antonio Fazio, Governor of the Bank of Italy, for his words as President of the Honorary Committee of the Association for the "Computerization of Lexicological Hermeneutical Analyses" (CAEL) of St Thomas Aquinas.

I likewise greet the other committee members:  Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Dr Camdessus, Ambassador Bettini, President of CAEL, and the other speakers.

I express my deepest appreciation for all his work to Fr Roberto Busa, S.J., a pioneer in computer linguistics, and to his team. The 56 volumes of the Index Thomisticus are a proof of their work.

St Thomas impressed his age with his genius and continues to be an outstanding figure for his research and love for the truth that dominate his admirable philosophical and theological edifice.

2. I am pleased to encourage your intention of launching a new enterprise that will be undertaken by an internatonal team of young people, guided by more mature scholars:  the elaboration of a Bicultural Thomistic Lexicon that, in twenty or thirty years, will translate all the terms of the enormous Lexicon of St Thomas into modern words.

You have chosen the work of Aquinas as a true and proper encyclopedia of his time, summary of 40 centuries of Mediterranean culture:  Jewish, Greek, Latin, Arab and Christian. Indeed the Bicultural Thomistic Lexicon will consider in the opus of St Thomas above all what he has in common with authors who were his contemporaries.

In St Thomas' sapiential vision, even though certain parts of it depend on the science of his time, the cosmos appears to be directed by a single universal programme, in which everything is organically connected. It is a programme incorporated into nature by the Divine Thought, the Creator of the human intelligence that invented information technology.

I entrust the work you are about to begin to divine Providence, as I wholeheartedly impart my affectionate Blessing to those present and to their families.


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