Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Something to ponder...

Pope Benedict XVI, speaking to Catholic educators in the USA:

"In regard to faculty members at Catholic colleges and universities, I wish to affirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you. Yet it is also the case that any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission; a mission at the heart of the Church's munus docendi and not somehow autonomous or independent of it.

"Teachers and administrators, whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church's Magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution's life, both inside and outside the classroom. Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity, and, far from advancing freedom, inevitably leads to confusion, whether intellectual, moral, or spiritual."


Anonymous said...

Joanna, I have a question that does not pertain to this post. I just came across a British website,, when I was searching a John Henry Newman quotation in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
It's mostly by lay people and I don't recognize the names.
My question is-- Is it trustworthy?
Mary Pat

Anonymous said...

THis is a huge issue for secular universities too. To what extent are those who disagree with the university's official line on, say, sexism or racism, to be allowed to hold faculty posts?

I don't see that the Pope is really offering an answer. Clearly if we hold Catholic faith to be of so little account that there is no penalty for an educator offering anti-Catholic teachings, then the university won't remain Catholic for long. On the other hand large numbers of thinkers are not Cathoic, and have to be treated seriously by the university - Marx and Nieztche can't be off the philosophy curriculum, for example.