UNIVERSITIES' JUBILEE IS UNPRECEDENTED EVENT
| ROME, SEPT 7 (ZENIT.org). - In a year of precedents, the Universities' Jubilee is one more
The Jubilee event, which ends Sept. 9, has brought together nine Nobel Prize winners, 1,500 speakers
and more than 10,000 university professors. No one has ever brought so many university professors
together, from all parts of the world, to debate problems and solutions that affect humanity, and to
celebrate the birth of Christ. The participants are meeting for discussions in 58 concurrent congresses.
At the congress organized by his archdiocese, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi of Bologna explained that
"misunderstandings between faith and reason must finally cease, and, if the incompatibility of their
characters can be overcome, a stable marriage between the two must come into being, which will
certainly benefit the integral knowledge of man with new fruitfulness."
The cardinal said that "no truth can be considered incompatible with the patrimony of Revelation.
What is more, every truth, by being objectively a reflection of the divine Logos, is always 'holy' and, at
least, indirectly salvific."
Lorenzo Caselli, dean of economics and commerce at the University of Genoa and president of the
Ecclesial Movement of Cultural Commitment, said that "the man of science and culture must also
measure himself against the mystery of the times in which we are living. For the nonbeliever, mystery
is a cloud; for the believer, the hidden God is in the cloud."
He added, "The Jubilee stimulates us, believing scholars, to assume a great responsibility: to make the
community of men of culture share in the value of our faith and hope so that together we agree to
promote an 'integral humanism.'"
In his 1998 encyclical "Fides et Ratio" [Faith and Reason], Pope John Paul II indicated that the most
advanced solutions proposed by science seem to find their most concrete realization when united in a
common search for God.
According to theologian Father Saturnino Muratore, the principal task of the Universities' Jubilee is to
"promote a new humanism, in the perspective of a broad dialogue, at the world level, which will place
concern for the human person and the definitive values of truth and goodness, at the center.
Father Muratore said that the proposal for a "new humanism means keeping in mind the humanistic
matrix of Western culture, which presented the ideal of a unification of learning, profound
correspondence between macrocosm (nature) and microcosm (man) and the fostering of a scientific
reading of reality, which in no way is contrary to religion."
Carlo Casciani, who teaches general surgery at the Roman University of Tor Vergata, and is president
of the Italian Transplantation Society, emphasized that it is urgent to make "a strong appeal to return
man to the center of research as an end, and not as an instrument."
Piergiorgio Picozza, a nuclear physicist at Tor Vergata University, explained that "to take a position
before the great ethical problems ? is not a manifestation of obscurantism or indifference to science."
"A Christian's intellectual liberty," he continued, "is no less complete than that of the scientist who says
he is secular. It is precisely in this intellectual freedom, in this defense of man and the uniqueness of
his role in the universe, in full awareness of his mission in this world, where the faith manifests its
presence with full right, displays its full potential, and helps humanity understand the reason for its