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Safeguard Catholic identity Pope urges university

By editor - 01 February, 2014

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

Catholic universities must give “uncompromising” and “unambiguous” witness to Church teaching and defend themselves from all efforts to dilute their Catholic identity, Pope Francis has said.

He made his comments as he met with 130 representatives of the American-based Catholic university in Indiana, who were in Rome for the inauguration of the university’s new Rome centre.

The Pontiff said Catholic universities “by their very nature, are committed to demonstrating the harmony of faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life.”

In an audience with members of the university’s board of trustees, P0pe Francis praised Notre Dame, saying it “has made an outstanding contribution to the Church in your country through its commitment to the religious education of the young and to serious scholarship inspired by confidence in the harmony of faith and reason in the pursuit of truth and virtue.”

He said the institution’s original vision, guided by its religious founders of the Congregation of Holy Cross, “remains, in the changed circumstances of the 21st century, central to the university’s distinctive identity and its service to the Church and American society.”

Catholic identity and missionary discipleship are critical, the Pope said, and need to be evident in the way Catholics live and in the workings of all Catholic institutions.

He added that Catholic universities play a special role in being faithful missionaries of the Gospel because of their commitment to showing the compatibility of faith and reason, and showing how the Christian message offers people a fuller, more authentic human life.

“Essential in this regard is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors,” the Pope said.

Source: UCAN and Catholic News Service

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