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Friday, October 26, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 26, 2007 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, following a Eucharistic concelebration presided by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, to mark the beginning of the academic year at Roman Pontifical Universities, the Holy Father entered St. Peter's Basilica to greet the students gathered there.

  "Seek to create," the Pope told them, "a climate in which commitment to study and fraternal cooperation enable you to enrich one another, not only as concerns cultural, academic and doctrinal aspects, but also on a human and spiritual level."

  The Holy Father also reminded the students that Rome is a city "rich in historical memories, in masterpieces of art and culture, and above all in eloquent Christian testimony.

  "Over time," he added, "universities and ecclesiastical faculties came into being, now centuries old. There, entire generations of priests and pastoral workers were formed, including many great saints and illustrious men of the Church."

  Referring then to John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution "Sapientia christiana," which refers to the need to consider "new problems" in the light of Christian revelation and to present truth "in a manner adapted to various cultures," Benedict XVI reaffirmed that such a commitment "is more pressing than ever in our post-modern age, in which the need is felt for a new evangelization, and which needs masters of faith and appropriately-trained heralds and witnesses of the Gospel."

  "The time you spend in Rome can and must serve to prepare you to undertake ... the task that awaits you in the various fields of apostolic activity. In our own time, the Church's evangelizing mission requires, not only that the Gospel message be spread everywhere, but that it penetrate deeply into the way people think, into their criteria of judgement and their behavior. In a word," he concluded, "all the culture of modern man must be permeated by the Gospel."

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