Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Zenit: Cardinal Arinze Defines a Truly Catholic College

The mark of a good Catholic university is success at turning out model Christians who are good citizens, says Cardinal Francis Arinze.

The cardinal, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, affirmed this May 10 in a commencement address he delivered at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

He said that a Catholic college that adopts an attitude of "courageous creativity and rigorous fidelity" contributes much to promoting a "healthy synthesis between faith and culture in society," the Cardinal Newman Society reported.

Cardinal Arinze contended that a Catholic institution of higher learning should teach its students "to appreciate that moral rules of right and wrong apply also to science, technology, politics, trade and commerce, and indeed to all human endeavors."

"In the complicated world of today, where all kinds of ideas are struggling for the right of citizenship, a university student needs a clear and viable orientation on the relationship between religion and life," he continued. "The Catholic college or university is ideally positioned to help him see the light and equip himself for a significant contribution in society."

The cardinal recognized that universities need to offer premium intellectual formation, but he affirmed that formation in upright behavior is also a need.

"But what does it profit us if a student is an intellectual giant but a moral baby," he asked, "if he or she can shoot out mathematical or historical facts like a computer but is unfortunately a problem for the parents, corrosive acid among companions in the college, a drug addict and sexual pervert, a disgrace to the school, a waste-pipe in the place of work and 'Case No. 23' for the criminal police? It is clear that intellectual development is not enough."

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