VATICAN CITY, MAY 9, 2003 (VIS) - This morning in the Paul VI Hall the Pope received 800 participants in the international congress promoted by the Pontifical Lateran University to commemorate the 25 years of his pontificate.
He recalled the three visits he has made as Pope to the Lateran University as well as his years as a professor at the universities of Krakow and Lublin: "The knowledge acquired then has been very useful for the pastoral ministries that I performed, first in Krakow and then, as Successor of Peter, in the service I continue to undertake for all the People of God. In every phase and stage of university life and of pastoral ministry, one of the basic reference points for me has been attention to the person, placed at the center of every philosophical and theological study."
"Thus," he continued, "I appreciate the fact that, to commemorate the 25 years of my pontificate, you wished to promote this meeting on the ever more current theme: 'The Church in the Service of Man', asking for the qualified and representative participation of members of the Roman Curia and the world of culture."
The Holy Father underscored that "perennial service to the 'truth' about man inspires all who are concerned that he know himself ever better and perceive, with growing awareness, the longing to meet Christ, the full realization of man. Here is a vast field of action for you who intend to contribute with missionary dynamism to selecting new paths for the evangelization of culture."
"Christ," he declared, "is the truth that makes free all who seek Him with sincerity and perseverance. He is the truth that the Church proclaims tirelessly in different ways, spreading the one Gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth and inculturating it into the various regions of the world."
The Pope concluded by asking all who work in and teach at the Lateran University to do so in such a manner that their "theological, philosophical and scientific research will help contemporary man to better perceive the nostalgia for God hidden in the innermost part of every soul."
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