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Thursday, May 3, 2012


Vatican City, 3 May 2012 (VIS) - The "Agostino Gemelli" Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is currently celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father made a visit to Rome's Sacred Heart Catholic University this morning, where he pronounced an address focusing on "quaerere Deum" (the search for the absolute) in contemporary culture.

The Pope was received by the academic authorities of the teaching hospital, who were accompanied by Gianfranco Fini, president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and by Lorenzo Ornaghi and Renato Balduzzi, respectively ministers of culture and of health. Also present was Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness' vicar general for the diocese of Rome, and Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy and president of the "Giuseppe Toniolo" Institute for Higher Studies. Many students and patients gathered to hear the Holy Father’s words, which he pronounced on an open area in front of the hospital building.

"Ours is a time in which the empirical sciences have transformed our view of the world, and even man's understanding of himself", the Pope said. "Numerous discoveries and innovative technologies ... are a justified reason for pride, but often they are not without worrying side effects".

"The Europe's fruitful root of culture and progress seems to have been forgotten; there the search for the absolute - 'quaerere Deum' - also embraced the need to develop the profane sciences, the entire world of knowledge. Indeed, scientific research and the demand for meaning, each with is own specific epistemological and methodological attributes, spring from a single source: the Logos which presided over the work of creation and guides the course of history. A mentality that is fundamentally technical and practical generates a dangerous imbalance between what is technically possible and what is morally good, with unforeseeable consequences.

"It is therefore important for culture to rediscover the vigour of meaning and the dynamism of transcendence. In a word, it must open itself decisively to the horizon of 'quaerere Deum'", Benedict XVI added. "Science and faith possess a fruitful reciprocity, almost a complementary need to understand reality. ... Christianity, the religion of the Logos, does not relegate faith to the field of irrationality; rather is attributes the origin and meaning of reality to creative Reason, which in the crucified God showed itself to be love and which invites us to follow the path of 'quaerere Deum': 'I am the way, the truth and the life'".

"By following the path of faith, man is able to distinguish, even in the reality of suffering and death which traverse his existence, an authentic possibility for goodness and for life. ... Care for those who suffer is, then, a daily encounter with the face of Christ, and the dedication of mind and heart becomes a sign of God's mercy and of His victory over death.

"Experienced in its entirety this search is illuminated by science and faith, drawing vigour and impetus from these two 'wings' and never losing a due sense of humility and of its own limitations. In this way the quest for God enriches understanding, becoming a ferment of culture, a promoter of true humanism, a search which does not stop at the surface. ... It is here that the irreplaceable role of the Catholic University comes into play, a place in which education is placed at the service of the person in order to construct an academic competence rooted in that heritage of knowledge which the succeeding generations have distilled into life wisdom; a place where care is not a task, but a mission".

"The Catholic University, which has a special relationship with the See of Peter, is today called to be an exemplary institution which does not limit learning to functionality and economic success, but broadens it horizons to projects in which the gift of intelligence investigates and develops the gifts of creation, abandoning a purely productive and utilitarian view of existence because 'the human being is made for gift, which expresses and makes present his transcendent dimension'". Finally, the Pope concluded his remarks by assuring patients at the Gemelli Hospital of his "prayers and affection".

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Holy Father.

    Lord, deliver us from the reductionist view of body, mind, and soul!


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