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Pope Francis with staff from Sophia University Pope Francis with staff from Sophia University  (Vatican Media)

Pope to Sophia University: Walk together to build a true culture of encounter

Pope Francis receives teaching staff from the Sophia University Institute, telling them to continue their journey with joy, vision and determination

The Sophia University Institute was established twelve years ago by the Focolare Movement, which was itself founded by Chiara Lubich.

The Institute, which is based in the Italian town of Loppiano in Tuscany, aims to promote dialogue and interaction between the different fields of knowledge in a wisdom perspective. 

Greeting the University’s academic community on Thursday, Pope Francis told them that after twelve years, their journey was just beginning. The Pope also urged those gathered to continue that journey with joy, vision and determination under the guidance of three words: wisdom, pact, and going forth.

The light of Wisdom

The Pontiff noted that this University is called Sophia, “because its objective is first of all to communicate and learn Wisdom in order to permeate all its sciences.” “For us Christians, he said, wisdom is Jesus crucified and risen, but its light enlightens all men: all religions, all cultures, all authentic exercises of humanity.”

For this reason, the Pope continued, “we are called to walk together to build a true and harmonious culture of encounter.”

Speaking about the word pact or covenant, Pope Francis explained that it is the “keystone of creation and history, as the Word of God teaches us: the covenant between God and men, the covenant between generations, the covenant between peoples and cultures…”

Everything is related to everything, he said, “everything is created to be a living icon of God who is the Trinity of Love. Today, therefore, it is a priority task to educate people to live this covenant…”

Go forth

Finally, the Pope underlined that without going forth one does not meet Wisdom, without going out the pact does not spread to all…”

“Only by going out does one encounter the concrete face of the brothers and sisters, with their wounds and aspirations, their questions and their gifts” he said.

14 November 2019, 12:53