Rome (Fides Service) – Sunday 20 July was the closing day of a universal Symposium, University and Church in Europe, which brought together 2,000 teachers, students, chaplains rectors and bishops from 41 European countries. “The Symposium was a great event of hope looking to the future of Europe. Alongside the Europe of the market and common institutions, the Europe of culture must make a new bold start” said Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia University Delegate of the Council of European Bishops CCEE. “The symposium discussed the theme of the encounter between secular and Catholic universities, as a modern and interesting cultural workshop which permits the use of contributions from all competencies (humanistic, scientific, philosophical and theological) to walk at the service of the same end: that of a new humanism” . The Italian Archbishop emphasised that the Symposium had been an important moment of communion, also thanks to the presence of delegates of other Christian churches and confessions which stimulated reflection from the ecumenical point of view. “Now the presence and dialogue of our Churches in the university can make a new start from a more organic and shared project” Mgr Nosiglia concluded.
The Rector of the Bocconi University in Milan, Prof. Carlo Secchi, spoke of the “great responsibility of any university to prepare future cadres not only by developing and transmitting competencies and knowledge but also a system of values, offering students the tools for this end. In this environment the university is open and attentive also to the role of the Church and its institutions”. Prof. Secchi also affirmed that “it is unthinkable to have a ruling class which fails to refer to a world of values which helps it to be in harmony with society and with history” and the university must hand on to youth “sensitivity to the destiny of society and humanity”. For this reason the university appreciates the work of the Church in universities, “above all in the field of formation in ethics and towards the historical dimension of culture.”
In harmony with the indications of the Pope expressed in the apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Europe, dialogue between university and the Church resumes said Mgr Lorenzo Leuzzi, head of university pastoral in Rome diocese and organiser of the event. “After the mediaeval experience, where the Church became main agent in the growth of the university experience, at the beginning of the third millennium the Church wishes to put herself at the service of the university institution offering the gift of the Gospel and passion for mankind” SL (Fides Service 21/7/2003 EM lines 30 Words: 398)