Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Czech Republic - Praha - Brno - Stará BoleslavVisit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Czech Republic - Praha - Brno - Stará Boleslav

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28.09.2009, author: Monika Vývodova, kategorie: News

Desire for freedom and truth is a part of the human nature

Meeting the members of academies in the Vladislaus Hall of the Prague Castle
Desire for freedom and truth is a part of the human nature

The Holy Father is very comfortable in the academic world. In Rome, he regularly meets the students of European universities and his pastoral journeys include meetings with professors and students for whom he prepares lectures on current topics. The program in Prague complies with this.

The Pope has reached the Vladislaus Hall at 6 p.m., accompanied by the President of the Czech republic, Václav Klaus and by the rector of the Charles University, Václav Hampl. There were 800 guests including the rectors of Czech universities, delegate professors and students and the representatives of cultural institutions from all parts of the Czech republic.

The meeting began by the welcoming speech of Jaroslav Lorman, a student, which was in German. He spoke about the interconnection between knowledge and human formation in the academic real, which leads the man to changing him or herself. The religious experience follows the same path, which is why Lorman was greatful for the possibility of the meeting. Then, the rector of the Charles University, Václav Hampl reflected on the development of the academy and the spiritual Christian realm in the string of the Czech history, and he has underlined the fact that both these realms stem from common roots and intermingle. One of the examples of this connection is the oldest seal of the Charles University from 1350 which is still in use as its logo. The seal captures the secular founders of the University, king and emperor Charles IV handing the founding documents of the Prague University to the hand of St. Wenceslaus.

After the musical performance of the choir of the Charles Univerity, the Pope delivered his speech, which centered on the freedom of seeking for truth. "The yearning for freedom and truth is inalienably part of our common humanity. It can never be eliminated; and, as history has shown, it is denied at humanity’s own peril," said Benedict XVI. He warned that current rapid progress of information technologies bears the temptation of separating reason from the seeking of truth. This means that reason loses orientation. Apart from that, we often observe that the use of reason and academic research is forced to yield to the pressure of ideological interest groups and to the seduction of short-sighted opportunistic and pragmatic goals. The Holy Father encouraged the assembly to invest juvenile ideals and generosity to everything they do.

After a long applause, the pope personally greeted individual rectors of Czech universities and several students, and he made an entry to the Memorial Book of the Charles University.

The full text of the Pope's speech can be found here, a translation of the speech of the student representative, Jaroslava Lormana, can be downloaded below, the speech of rector Václav Hampl is available on the websites of the Charles University.

Download: Address by Jaroslav Lorman, a student representative, 16 kB

27.09.2009 18:00

Setkání s akademickou obcí

Setkání s akademickou obcí
Vladislavský sál Pražského hradu

author: Filip Kotek


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