ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY OF THE SOPHIA UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF LOPPIANO
Thursday, 14 November 2019
Dear brothers and sisters,
I welcome you and thank Msgr. Coda for his kind words. I greet with affection Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone, who has received a doctorate honoris causa in Culture of Unity. Congratulations, dear Father! I also greet the professors from various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, who alongside Fr. Scannone form part of the working group on “Trinitarian anthropology” at the CELAM, in collaboration with “Sophia”, as well as the teachers who constitute the initial core of the local seat of “Sophia” in Latin America and the Caribbean.
I am happy with the journey you have made in these twelve years of life. Keep going! The journey has just begun.
In the path that lies before you there is no lack of points of reference: in particular, the inspiration of the charism of unity from which your University was born and, at the same time, the outlines I gave in the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium, which your academic and formative project aims to reflect. Your participation in the preparation and development of the Global Educational Pact also heads in this direction.
I will leave you three words, urging you to continue your journey with joy, vision and determination: wisdom, covenant, and outgoing.
Wisdom: your University is called “Sophia” because its objective is first of all to communicate and learn wisdom in order to infuse all its sciences. Wisdom is in fact the Light of the countenance of God that illuminates the face of man: his mystery, his questions, his sufferings, his destiny. For us Christians, wisdom is Jesus crucified and risen, but His light illuminates all men (cf. Jn 1: 9): all religions, all cultures, all authentic exercises of humanity. For this reason, we are called to walk together with each other – as you do – to build a true and harmonious culture of encounter.
Hence the second word: covenant. The covenant is the keystone of creation and history, as the Word of God teaches us: the covenant between God and men, the covenant between generations, the covenant between peoples and cultures, the covenant – in school – between teachers and learners, the covenant between man, animals, plants and even the inanimate realities that make our common home beautiful and colourful. Everything is related to everything else, everything is created to be a living icon of God Who is the Trinity of Love! Today, therefore, it is a priority task to educate people to live out this covenant, or rather to be this living covenant in all these dimensions: to open the paths of the future to a new civilization that embraces humanity and the cosmos in universal brotherhood.
And finally the third word: outgoing. Without going out one does not encounter wisdom, without going out the covenant does not spread to all, in ever wider and more inclusive concentric circles. Only by going out does one encounter the real face of our brothers and sisters, with their wounds and aspirations, their questions and their gifts. We must learn with the heart, mind and hands to “come out of the camp” – as the Letter to the Hebrews says (13: 13) – so as to meet, right out there, the face of God in the face of every brother and sister.
Dear friends, I thank you once again for your commitment. I entrust you to the Virgin Mary, Seat of Wisdom and Mother of Unity, and from my heart I bless you.
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