Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Saturday, May 9, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 9 MAY 2009 (VIS) - At 9.45 a.m. today, Benedict XVI travelled to the town of Madaba, 19 kilometres from Mount Nebo in Jordan. The site is famous for the "Map of Madaba", a floor mosaic of a sixth-century Byzantine church, discovered in 1896, showing a map of the Holy Land with an itinerary to reach Jerusalem passing through 150 localities, and a detailed description of the city.

The Pope travelled through the Christian quarter of Madaba by popemobile to the site where, at the express wish of His Beatitude Fouad Twal, patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins and a native of Madaba, the University of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is being constructed. On arrival, the Pope blessed the cornerstone of the new building, then addressed some words to those present in which he commended "the promoters of this new institution for their courageous confidence in good education as a stepping-stone for personal development and for peace and progress in the region".

"While assimilating their own heritage, young Jordanians and other students from the region will be led to a deeper knowledge of human cultural achievements, will be enriched by other viewpoints, and formed in comprehension, tolerance and peace", he said.

"This 'broader' education is what one expects from institutions of higher learning and from their cultural milieu, be it secular or religious. In fact, belief in God does not suppress the search for truth; on the contrary it encourages it".

"Religion, of course, like science and technology, philosophy and all expressions of our search for truth, can be corrupted", the Holy Father said. "Religion is disfigured when pressed into the service of ignorance or prejudice, contempt, violence and abuse. In this case we see not only a perversion of religion but also a corruption of human freedom, a narrowing and blindness of the mind".

And yet, he proceeded, "every person is also called to wisdom and integrity, to the basic and all-important choice of good over evil, truth over dishonesty, and can be assisted in this task.

"The call to moral integrity", he added, "is perceived by the genuinely religious person, since the God of truth and love and beauty cannot be served in any other way. Mature belief in God serves greatly to guide the acquisition and proper application of knowledge. Science and technology offer extraordinary benefits to society and have greatly improved the quality of life of many human beings. ... At the same time the sciences have their limitations. They cannot answer all the questions about man and his existence".

"The use of scientific knowledge needs the guiding light of ethical wisdom. Such is the wisdom that inspired the Hippocratic Oath, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Convention and other laudable international codes of conduct".

Benedict XVI concluded by addressing some words to the young Christian students of Jordan: "You are called", he told them, "to be builders of a just and peaceful society composed of peoples of various religious and ethnic backgrounds. These realities - I wish to stress once more - must lead, not to division, but to mutual enrichment".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service