| JUBILEE OF CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF THE SACRED HEART
VATICAN CITY, APR 13, 2000 (VIS) - At midday today in the Vatican Basilica, John Paul II
received 6,500 participants in the Jubilee of Sacred Heart Catholic University. The event falls on
the 40th anniversary of the death of its founder, Fr. Agostino Gemelli, and on the 80th
anniversary of the foundation of the university in December 1920.
Speaking to professors and students from the university's bases in Milan, Rome, Brescia and
Piacenza, the Pope said that the pastoral dimension "embraces everything that happens, and
coordinates it with the specific educational project of a Catholic university."
Addressing his remarks in particular to professors, he said: "Be true and authentic educators, be
sure to clearly identify the educational plan from which you draw inspiration, demonstrating, like
true disciples of Christ, the hope that is within you. May your commitment and honor give the
Church and the country professionally well-trained youth, politically sensitive citizens and,
especially, wise and courageous Christians."
The Holy Father made reference to the imminent reform of universities and affirmed that the
traditional independence they have long enjoyed will "allow them to adapt to the forthcoming
changes in such a way as to guarantee the freedom that has always been an essential condition
for the development of learning."
"Being Catholic," he continued, "demands that your university - through critical reflection on the
present and future of a society that is becoming multi-ethnic and multi-religious - commit itself to
combining the essential requirements of its ecclesial affiliation with a warm openness towards all
other serious cultural manifestations."
John Paul II called on professors and students to feel proud to belong to the Catholic university
and to make every effort "to be equal to the responsibilities that derive therefrom. This is called
for by the memory of your tradition, requested by the very nature of your institution and
demanded by the laudable educational mission with which you are entrusted."