Speeches 2004

Monday, 5 April 2004

Mr President,

I am pleased to receive you on this visit which you have desired to pay me, renewing the expression of the Costa Ricans' affection and esteem for the Pope. I am delighted with the collaboration that exists between the Church and the Authorities of your Country, which is constantly in my mind since I had the opportunity to visit it. I warmly hope that the People may continue to develop on the firm basis of a just society that is supportive, responsible and peaceful.

I am grateful to you for coming here, Mr President, and I renew my good wishes for the spiritual and material progress of your people and for its coexistence in harmony and freedom. At the same time, I ask the Most High, through the motherly intercession of Our Lady of the Angels, to pour plentiful Blessings upon the beloved sons and daughters of Costa Rica, to whom I impart a heartfelt Apostolic Blessing.



Monday, 5 April 2004

Dear Young People,

1. I am pleased to greet you again this year and offer each one of you my most cordial welcome.

You have come to Rome from various countries and many universities to spend Holy Week together and to take part in the international UNIV meeting. Thus, you have been able to compare the experiences you have acquired by taking part in the activities of Christian formation that the Prelature of Opus Dei promotes in your respective cities and nations.

I greet you with affection, and I greet those who have accompanied you, as well as the priests who are your spiritual directors. Yesterday, Palm Sunday, we heard these words ring out in St Peter's Square: "We wish to see Jesus". This is the theme of the Message that I wanted to write to young people of the whole world on the occasion of World Youth Day.

Dear friends, may you always cherish in the depths of your heart the desire to see Christ! May you be able to overcome every superficial emotion, resisting the seduction of pleasure and the ambitions of selfishness and comforts!

2. At your International Congress you are addressing a very timely theme: "Projecting culture: the language of advertising". There is a real need to know how to use suitable language in order to transmit positive messages and make their ideals and noble initiatives known and attractive. It is also necessary to be able to discern the limits and pitfalls of the language which the media propose to us. Sometimes, in fact, advertisements present a superficial and inadequate vision of life, of the individual person or the family, and of morality.

3. To carry out this demanding mission, it is necessary to follow Jesus closely in prayer and contemplation. Being his friends in the world in which we live also demands the effort to swim against the tide.

At university, in school and wherever you may find yourselves living, do not be afraid when necessary to be anti-conformist! I especially ask you to spread the Christian vision of the virtue of purity and to show your peers that it "comes from love; and the strength and gaiety of youth are no obstacle for noble love" (St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, Christ Is Passing By, 40, 6).

4. Dear young people of UNIV, in this world which is seeking Jesus, sometimes without even knowing it you are the leaven of hope. I repeat to you today what I said to your friends in one of our first meetings: to improve the world, strive first of all to change yourselves through recourse to the sacrament of Penance and intimate identification with Christ in the Eucharist.

To Mary, who never lifted her eyes from the Face of her Son Jesus, I entrust each one of you and your families. I invoke upon each one of you the protection of St Josemaría and of all the saints of your countries, and I cordially bless you.



Good Friday, 9 April 2004

1. Venit hora! The hour had arrived! The hour of the Son of man.

We are making the Way of the Cross in front of the Roman Colosseum, as we do every year, taking part in that hour in which was accomplished the work of the Redemption.

Venit hora crucis! "His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father" (Jn 13,1). It was the hour of the excruciating suffering of the Son of God; a suffering that, 20 centuries later, still leaves us deeply stirred and calls us into question. The Son of God has arrived at this hour (cf. Jn Jn 12,27), precisely to give up his life for the benefit of his brothers and sisters. It is the hour of the offering, the hour of the revelation of infinite love.

2. Venit hora gloriae! "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified" (Jn 12,23). This is the hour when we, the men and women of every epoch, received the gift of love that is stronger than death. We stand beneath the Cross to which the Son of God is nailed, so that with the power which the Father gave him over every human being, he may give eternal life to all who have been entrusted to him (cf. Jn Jn 17,2).

Is it not right, therefore, to glorify in this hour God the Father, "who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all" (Rm 8,32)?

Is it not time to glorify the Son who "humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (Ph 2,8)?

How can we not glorify the Spirit of the One who raised Christ from the dead and now dwells in us to give life also to our mortal bodies (cf. Rom Rm 8,11)?

3. This hour of the Son of man that we relive on Good Friday stays with us in our minds and hearts as the hour of love and glory.

May the mystery of the Way of the Cross of the Son of God be an inexhaustible source of hope for everyone. May it also comfort and strengthen us when our own hour arrives.

Venit hora redemptionis. Glorificemus Redemptorem! Amen.



Saturday, 17 April 2004

Mr President,

I receive you with great pleasure on the occasion of your visit to Rome as President of Mozambique and of the African Union, bearing the serious challenges and great hopes of this Continent whose peoples I always keep in my heart and am pleased to greet in this Easter Season of the Resurrection.

President Chissano, I offer you my respectful greetings and very best wishes for the noble task entrusted to the Institution over which you currently preside. May the heavenly Spirit descend upon the great human family and awaken in the hearts of all a love for the gift of life! May God bless your family and all the People of Mozambique! May he bless Africa and all who assist Africa!




Saturday, 17 April 2004

Dear and Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I am pleased to greet you on the occasion of the International Congress of the Union of Christian Institutions Among and For Italian Migrants. I offer you my cordial greetings, and through you I address an affectionate thought to all the communities of Italian emigrants scattered across the world. I thank your President, Mr Adriano Dégano, for his courteous words on behalf of those present.

You work among the many Christian associations for emigrants in a way that is well integrated in the parish communities and in a spirit of generous brotherly collaboration. This gives me great joy and I encourage you always to foster the religious dimension of your sodalities in order to keep alive the values inherited from your fathers and pass them on to the new generations. You will thus make an important contribution to evangelization. Indeed, in our day too, as in the past, evangelization is closely connected with phenomena of migration. I urge you to make sure that your faith is always accompanied by a witness of fraternal love and effective attention to all who are in difficulty.

2. I thank you for your visit and I entrust you and your respective associations to Mary Most Holy, calling on her as Mother of Migrants.

With these sentiments, I cordially impart my Blessing to you all, and I extend it to all those you encounter every day in your apostolic work.




To Rev. Mons. Walter Brandmüller
President of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences

1. The Church of Christ has a responsibility towards men and women which, in a certain way, extends to every dimension of their lives. Therefore, she has always felt committed to fostering the development of human culture, encouraging the search for the true, the good and the beautiful, so that human beings may correspond ever more to God's creative inspiration.

To this end, it is also important to cultivate a sound historical knowledge of the various areas in which individuals or communities live their lives. Nothing is more incongruous for people or groups than to have no history. Ignorance of one's own past leads fatally to a crisis and the loss of identity of individuals and communities.

2. Moreover, scholars who are believers know that in the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Covenants they have an additional key to acquiring a proper knowledge of mankind and the world. It is through the biblical message, in fact, that we learn about the most hidden aspects of the human condition: creation, the tragedy of sin, redemption. In this way are defined the true horizons for interpretation within which we can understand even the most hidden meaning of the events, processes and figures of history.

In this context, it is also necessary to note the possibilities for a harmonious coexistence of peoples that a renewed historical context can open up, sustained by mutual understanding and a reciprocal exchange of each one's respective cultural achievements. Historical investigation, free of prejudice and guided by scientific documentation, has played an irreplaceable role in pulling down the barriers between peoples. Indeed, as centuries passed, strong walls were frequently built by biased historiography and mutual resentment. As a result, misunderstandings still persist today which hinder peace and brotherhood between individuals and peoples.

The most recent aspiration to overcome the boundaries of national historiography in order to expand our vision to broader geographical and cultural contexts could also prove to be most useful, for it would guarantee a comparative view of events, allowing for a more balanced assessment.

3. God's revelation to human beings happened in space and in time. Its crowning moment, the Incarnation of the divine Word, his birth from the Virgin Mary in the city of David during the reign of Herod the Great, was a historical event: God entered human history. We therefore start to count the years of our history from Christ's birth.

The foundation of the Church, through which Christ wanted to pass on to humanity the fruit of the Redemption after his Resurrection and Ascension, is a historical phenomenon. The Church herself is a historical event and thus a priority subject for historical science. Many scholars, some of whom do not even belong to the Catholic Church, have devoted their interest to her, making an important contribution to working out her earthly events.

4. The essential goal of the Church, in addition to the glorification of the Triune God, consists in transmitting the goods of salvation that Jesus Christ entrusted to the Apostles - his Gospel and his sacraments - to every generation of humanity in need of truth and salvation. The salvation she receives from the Lord and transmits to men and women is precisely how the Church fulfils herself and matures throughout history.

When this process of transmission is developed through the legitimate bodies it is guided by the Holy Spirit in conformity with Jesus Christ's promise, so that it acquires a theological and supernatural significance. Therefore, all the developments of doctrine, sacramental life and the order of the Church that have taken place in harmony with apostolic tradition must be seen as her organic evolution. The history of the Church has thus proven to be an appropriate area from which to draw for a better knowledge of the truth about faith itself.

5. As for the Holy See, it has always encouraged the historical sciences through its scientific institutions. This is borne out, among other things, by Pope Pius XII's foundation of this Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences 50 years ago.

In fact, the Church is eagerly interested in knowing more and more about her own history. To this end, especially today, a meticulous teaching of the historic and ecclesiastical disciplines is vital, especially for candidates to the priesthood, as the decree Optatam Totius of the Second Vatican Council recommends (cf. n. 16). However, if studying ecclesiastical tradition is to be worthwhile, a sound knowledge of Latin and Greek is absolutely indispensable. The lack of it bars access to the sources of ecclesiastical tradition. It is only with the help of these languages that it will also be possible to rediscover in our day the experience of life and faith that the Church has accumulated in 2,000 years of existence under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

6. History teaches that in the past, every time new knowledge of the sources was acquired, the foundations were laid for a new flourishing of ecclesial life. If "historia magistra vitae" [history is the teacher of life], as the ancient Latin saying affirms, then the history of the Church can certainly be described as "magistra vitae christianae" [the teacher of Christian life].

I therefore hope that this Congress will give a new impetus to historical studies. This will assure the new generations of an ever deeper knowledge of the mystery of salvation, active in time, and inspire in an ever greater number of the faithful the desire to draw copiously from the sources of Christ's grace.

With this wish, Monsignor, I impart my affectionate Blessing to you, to the Relators and to the participants in the Congress.

From the Vatican, 16 April 2004





Monday, 19 April 2004

Your Excellency,

I am pleased to welcome you to the Vatican and to accept the Letters of Credence appointing you Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the Holy See. I thank you for the kind greetings which you bring from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and I ask you to convey to her the assurance of my prayers for your country and its people.

During my pastoral visits to the Philippines, I have always been moved by the warmth and affection shown to me. The words of my first visit in 1981 still ring true: "Due homage must be paid to the achievement of the Filipino people, but what you are also creates an obligation, and it confers upon the nation a specific mission" (Address to the People of the Philippines, 17 February 1981). Being a country which has kept the Christian faith strong even when faced with extreme obstacles offers you the honorable task not only of preserving the values of this heritage but also of helping to spread the ideals of Christian culture to the whole world. The experience of World Youth Day in Manila in 1995 was an example of your Nation’s desire to exercise this responsibility, and it will always stand out as a moment of particular joy in my ministry to the universal Church. Those days together with your people, joined by young persons from throughout the world, confirmed my belief that, as Your Excellency has noted, the Philippines is truly a "light" for the evangelization of the Asian continent.

One of the obligations of cultures based on authentic human values must be a deep and abiding concern for the poor. Unfortunately, the Philippines and much of the Asian region continue to be plagued by the blight of extreme poverty. This fact can at times tempt governments to adopt shortsighted solutions which in reality often lead to policies which bring no real benefit to the people. To deal with poverty effectively every sector of society must work together in search of solutions. An enduring freedom for those bound by poverty demands that governments not only recognize and assist the poor but that they also actively involve them in finding long-lasting solutions to their problems. The seemingly futile struggle with poverty is one of the main sources of disaffection and marginalization among the young. Tempted to look for quick material gain, they are often led into lives of crime, or as is currently being experienced throughout the world, they associate themselves with radical movements which promise social change through violence and bloodshed. Combating these trends requires a concerted effort to welcome, listen to and engage the talents and gifts of the less fortunate by helping them to realize that they are an integral part of society.

I pray that Filipinos will continue to uphold the precepts of their Constitution which explicitly recognizes the sanctity of family life and the protection of the unborn from the moment of conception (cf. Constitution of the Philippines, Article II, Section 12). Aware that the issue of capital punishment and its use has again become an important topic in your national debate, I would reiterate that the ends of justice in today’s world seem better served by not resorting to the death penalty. "Modern society in fact has the means of effectively suppressing crime by rendering criminals harmless without definitively denying them the chance to reform" (Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, 27). While civil societies have a duty to be just, they also have an obligation to be merciful.

I wish to take this opportunity to express my ongoing concern for the spate of violence that has for so long taken a devastating toll on your country. I again appeal to all parties to end the terrorism which continues to cause so much suffering to the civilian population, and to embrace the path of dialogue which alone will enable the people of the region to create a society that guarantees justice, peace and harmony for all. Accordingly, it is essential that the State continue to promote dialogue in society, fostering mutual understanding and appreciation among the various religions. This process is most effective when all levels of public education include curricular components that help people to recognize the value of tolerance and encourage them to strive towards a culture based on authentic peace and justice. We can together eliminate the social and cultural causes of terrorism "by teaching the greatness and dignity of the human person, and by spreading a clearer sense of the oneness of the human family" (Message for the 2002 World Day of Peace, 12).

Building a society based on human dignity can only be achieved when those in authority espouse the principles of right governance and honesty in their personal and public lives and offer unconditional service to their fellow citizens for the common good. Public servants, therefore, have an especially grave obligation to ensure that they are role models of moral behavior and do their best to help others form a correct conscience which at all times shuns any type of graft or corruption. These qualities of genuine leadership are of special concern as your country prepares for the coming elections. A criterion for judging the success of a democracy can, in fact, be found in the quality of its elections, which must be fair, honest and free, while always upholding the constitutional process and the rule of law (cf. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Pastoral Statement on the Coming 2004 Elections). In this regard, I am confident that the good will of those involved in the elections will lead to a stronger nation, truly based on equity and justice for all.

Your Excellency, I am certain that as you carry out the tasks of your mission the bonds of friendship between the Republic of the Philippines and the Holy See will be further strengthened. I offer you my good wishes and assure you that the various departments of the Roman Curia will always be ready to assist you in the discharge of your duties. Upon yourself and your fellow citizens I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.



Tuesday, 20 April 2004

Your Eminence,
Dear Members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission,

1. I am pleased to receive you once again on the occasion of your annual Plenary Assembly. I would like to address a special greeting to the President, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, whom I thank for his interesting presentation of your work.

2. You are meeting once again to examine a very important subject: the connection between the Bible and morality. This topic concerns not only believers but, in a certain sense, every person of good will. Indeed, God speaks through the Bible, revealing himself and pointing out a solid basis and sure orientation for human behaviour. Knowing God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; recognizing his infinite goodness; knowing gratefully and sincerely that "every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights" (Jc 1,17); discovering in the gifts that God has given us the tasks he has entrusted to us; and acting with a full awareness of our responsibility to him: these are some of the fundamental expressions of biblical morality.

3. The Bible presents to us the inexhaustible treasures of God's revelation and of his love for humanity. The task of your joint commitment is to facilitate the Christian people's access to these treasures.

As I wish you a fruitful continuation of your studies, I invoke upon you and your work the light of the Holy Spirit, and I impart my affectionate Blessing to you all.


Friday, 23 April 2004

Dear Members of the Circolo San Pietro,

1. I am pleased to welcome you and I offer you a cordial greeting. I extend my thoughts to your relatives and friends and to all who work with you in your various charitable activities. I greet with affection your chaplain, Archbishop Ettore Cunial, as well as your President, Marquis Marcello Sacchetti, whom I thank for his kind words on behalf of those present.

You carry out a precious mission with admirable apostolic zeal. By going out to meet the poor and bringing relief to the sick and the suffering, you witness concretely to that ""creativity' in charity" I suggested in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (cf. n. 50).

Peter's Pence, which you have come to present to me as you do every year, is a further sign of your openness to our brothers and sisters in distress. At the same time, it implies concrete participation in the commitment of the Apostolic See to respond to the increasingly urgent needs of the Church, especially in the poorest countries.

2. Dear brothers and sisters, I am once again pleased to express my deep appreciation for your commitment, inspired by convinced fidelity and attachment to the Successor of Peter. You foster it by pausing every day to pray and listen to the Word of God. It is particularly important that your life be centred on the mystery of the Eucharist. Fidelity to Christ is the secret of the effectiveness of our every project. This is the witness of the saints. I am thinking especially of the Servants of God whom I will have the joy of beatifying next Sunday. By following their example, may each one of you intensify your missionary zeal and prepare to be a "Good Samaritan" to all those who today live in conditions of hardship or neglect.

May the Virgin Mary also accompany you with her motherly protection. For my part, I assure you of my prayers for those who are present here, for those who help you in your various activities and for all those whom you meet in your daily apostolate, and with affection I impart to you a special Apostolic Blessing.



Saturday, 24 April 2004

Dear Young People,

I am pleased to welcome you this morning at this special Audience. I greet the Diocesan Administrator, Fr Christian Nourrichard.

You have come to Rome to live a week of retreat and fraternity. I pray especially for those who will be receiving their Confirmation on Monday. I invite you all to make this pilgrimage a time of spiritual growth, thus enabling you to discern the will of the Lord, who wants to help you lead a life of beauty; your interior life will receive fresh inspiration. Do not be afraid to open your heart and allow Christ to speak to you. Learn to take time regularly for prayer and for Gospel meditation.

As I entrust each of you to the Virgin Mary, I encourage you to continue your search as Church, and I wholeheartedly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and to the priests, seminarians, Religious and the lay persons accompanying you.



Monday, 26 April 2004

Your Eminence,
Distinguished Representatives of the National Association of Italian Communes,

1. I have the pleasure of extending a cordial welcome to you at this meeting, being held during the celebrations for the centenary of the birth of Professor Giorgio La Pira. I greet each one of you and the cities that you represent. I greet especially Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, Archbishop of Florence, together with Mr Leonardo Domenici, the Mayor of this city and President of ANCI. I thank him for the words he has addressed to me with reference to the service Giorgio La Pira rendered to the cause of fraternal co-existence between nations. In this regard, I admired your Association's decision, in order to keep alive the memory of his efforts to encourage friendship between peoples that have their roots in Abraham - Jews, Christians and Muslims - to offer concrete aid to the Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem.

2. I express to you my heartfelt appreciation for this generous gesture in honour of the memory of Giorgio La Pira, an eminent figure in politics, culture and spirituality of the last century.
Before potentates he firmly expressed his ideas as a believer and lover of peace, inviting his interlocutors to join forces to promote this basic good in the various sectors: in society, politics, economics, culture and between religions.

In political theory and practice, Prof. La Pira sensed the need to apply Gospel methodology, drawing inspiration from the commandment of love and forgiveness. The "Conventions for Peace and Christian Civilization", which he promoted in Florence from 1952 to 1956 in order to encourage friendship between Christians, Jews and Muslims, remain emblematic.

3. In a letter to his friend Amintore Fanfani, he wrote words that are surprisingly relevant today: "Politicians are civil leaders entrusted by the Lord, through the changing "methods' of the times, with the duty to lead humanity toward peace and unity, and [to work for] the spiritual and social betterment of each person and of all peoples together" (22 October 1964).

Prof. La Pira's experience as a politician and believer was exceptional as he united contemplation and prayer to social and administrative work, giving special preference to the poor and suffering.

Dear Mayors, may his shining witness inspire your daily choices and actions! Following the example of Giorgio La Pira, place yourselves generously at the service of your communities, giving special attention to the young people in all the age-groups, promoting their spiritual growth. Do not fail to cultivate those human and Christian values that make up the rich patrimony of European ideals, which has given life to a civilization that over the centuries has favoured the development of authentically democratic societies. Without ethical foundations, democracy risks deteriorating with time and even to disappear.

Thanks to the contribution of all, the dream of a better world can become a reality. May God allow humanity to see this prophesy of peace fulfilled!

I join this hope with prayer, as I cordially bless you all.





Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Your Eminence,
Venerable Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I am truly pleased that you wished to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the important Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, which I signed shortly after the beginning of my Pontificate. This Constitution is important to me because it treats the practice of the Church's "munus docendi".

The "duty to teach" is of particular importance in modern-day society, which is on one hand marked by impressive technical advances, and on the other, by glaring contradictions, divisions and tensions.
In reality, the Gospel exercises its long-lasting and beneficial effect only in the measure in which, through continual proclamation, "convenient or inconvenient" (cf. II Tm 4: 2), it permeates ways of thinking and penetrates all culture (cf. Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, Foreword I). Now, it is this "high" vocation that distinguishes Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties: to strive with all their might to reunite the world of science and culture with the truth of faith in order to rediscover the salvific order of the divine plan in the reality of today's world.

2. I rejoice in the growing number of ecclesiastical centres of academic teaching. Their principal mission continues to be deepening and transmitting the divine mystery revealed by Christ. It is the Holy Spirit, received in the Church, who introduces us into that mystery and leads us to penetrate it by means of ever-deeper study (cf. Heb He 6,4).

Special prestige and responsibility pertain to the ecclesiastical faculties of Theology, Canon Law and Philosophy "because of their particular nature and importance for the Church" (Sapientia Christiana, art. 65). However, beyond these fundamental disciplines, ecclesiastical faculties include many other fields, such as Church History, Liturgy, Educational Science and Sacred Music.

In recent years, much effort has been exerted to meet the current needs: particular attention has been dedicated, for example, to bioethics, Islamic studies, human mobility, etc. So I warmly encourage the initiatives that aim at deepening the bonds which exist between divine Revelation and the newest areas of knowledge in today's society.

3. Today, more than ever, the ecclesiastical universities and faculties are called to play a role in the "great springtime" that God is preparing for Christianity (cf. Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, n. 86). People today are more attentive to certain values: the protection of human dignity; the defence of the weak and marginalized; respect for nature; the rejection of violence; world solidarity, etc. In light of the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, the Church's academic institutions are engaged in cultivating this sensibility according to the Gospel, Church Tradition and the Magisterium. It is well-known how much the modern world is threatened by ever-deepening rifts, such as that between rich and poor nations. These faults originate in the distancing of man from God.

In various Encyclicals, I have tried to point out the path to achieve profound reconciliation between faith and reason (cf. Fides et Ratio ), between the good and the true (cf. Veritatis Splendor ), between faith and culture (cf. Redemptoris Missio ), between civil law and moral law (cf. Evangelium Vitae ), between the West and the East (cf. Slavorum Apostoli), between the North and the South (cf. Centesimus Annus ), etc. It is necessary that these cultural ecclesiastical institutions accept these teachings, study and apply them, and develop them. In harmony with their vocation, they contribute in this way to healing men and women's interior wounds and to overcoming their fears.

4. The present-day traps of individualism, pragmatism and rationalism are well-known and they have even spread into the areas responsible for formation. Cultural ecclesiastical institutions must strive tirelessly to unite the obedience of faith to the "boldness of reason" (Fides et Ratio FR 48), allowing themselves to be guided by the zeal of charity. Lecturers must not forget that teaching is inseparable from the duty to deepen truth, especially revealed truth. Therefore, they should not separate the rigour of their university work from humble and ready openness to the Word of God, written or transmitted, always keeping in mind that the authentic interpretation of Revelation has been entrusted "to the living teaching office of the Church alone", exercising its authority in the name of Jesus Christ (Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum DV 10).

5. On this 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, I warmly thank all those involved in the advancement of the ecclesiastical mission of teaching and scientific research in the Church: rectors, deans and heads of ecclesiastical universities and faculties, teaching staff and assistants, together with the Congregation for Catholic Education and within it the Office for Universities. To each one I extend my gratitude for all the work carried out with generous dedication.

I encourage everyone to continue their important mission of evangelization by way of the intelligence of Revelation, continuing to follow that "living synthesis" of revealed truth and human values which make up "Christian wisdom" (Sapientia Christiana, Foreword I). The world has great need of this.

6. As I assure you of my prayer for your work, I willingly impart to each and all a special Apostolic Blessing.

Speeches 2004