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Without love science loses its humanity

· The Pope's Visit to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome ·

Only love guarantees the human and noble nature of science, sheltering it from relativism which weakens thought and blurs ethical values. Benedict XVI stated this during his Visit to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, this morning, Thursday, 3 May, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic.

Speaking to the political, civil and religious authorities, as well as to the faculty, staff, students and patients, the Pope recalled the cultural and spiritual foundations which support study and teaching at the Catholic University. Destined to be the “place where educational relationships are set at the service of the person building a qualified scientific expertise”; a place where “the relationship of care is not a job but a mission” and where “the love of the Good Samaritan is the primary place of teaching and is the face of the suffering man, the Face of Christ himself”.

The lofty and demanding mission that the Pontiff described beginning with the assertion that “scientific research and the quest for meaning, even specific epistemological  and methodological features, pour from only one source, that Logos which presides over the work of creation and guides the intelligence of history”. Therefore we understand the need for “a culture of rediscovering the strength of meaning and the dynamism of the transcendent”: in short “decisively opening to the horizon of the quaerere Deum ”, beginning with the understanding that “the same impetus of scientific research  springs from missing God who lives in human hearts”.

To restore to reason its integral dimension, science and faith must recover their “fruitful cooperative nature” and thus become the two “wings” from which research finds impetus and momentum. A particularly urgent task today, especially in order to avoid academic formation closing to the transcendent dimension and leaving space for a merely productivist and utilitarian horizon”. Faith looks inward, neither overlapping nor juxtaposing itself, to discerning research and tenacious  knowledge”.

In this sense, the Catholic Faculty of Medicine, Benedict XVI recalled in conclusion, is called to be a “place where transcendent humanism is not  a rhetorical slogan but a rule lived with daily dedication”.

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