VATICAN CITY, APR 22, 2007 (VIS) - This afternoon at 4.15, the Pope travelled to the University of Pavia where he met with representatives from the world of culture in the university's "Tersiano" courtyard. Following a greeting from Angiolino Stella, rector of the university, and from a representative of the students, the Holy Father pronounced a few words of his own.
"All universities," he said, "should safeguard their identity as centers of study 'made to man's measure,' in which students do not remain anonymous but are able to cultivate a fruitful dialogue with professors, drawing incentives for their own cultural and human development."
"It is of fundamental importance," he went on, "that the commitment to academic research remains open to the existential question of meaning in peoples lives. ... Only by valuing the person and interpersonal relations can didactic interaction become an educational relationship."
The love of Christ gave form to St. Augustine's life commitment, said Pope Benedict. "From a life dedicated to searching for worldly success he passed to a life totally donated to Jesus Christ, the only Master and Lord. May St. Augustine be for everyone a model for the dialogue between reason and faith."
"By the intercession of St. Augustine," the Pope concluded, "may the University of Pavia always stand out for its special attention to individuals, for a marked community dimension in academic research, and for a fruitful dialogue between faith and culture."
PV-ITALY/WORLD OF CULTURE/PAVIAVIS 070423 (250)