He made his comments this morning when he met with 120 members of the Polish university´s Academic Senate. The audience was an opportunity for the professors to confer the honorary doctorate.

The Holy Father requested that the honor not be limited to his person, but that it be a sign of the "coexistence between science and religion, and of fruitful cooperation between the scientific and ecclesiastical realms."

Auxiliary Bishop Marek Jedraszewski of Poznan said the Pope usually does not accept such honors, but made an exception because of the school´s importance for Poland. For the past three years, the state university has had a theology department, something that was unthinkable just 12 years ago.

Bishop Jedraszewski added, "This university has adopted, as a commitment, the defense of human rights through education and the search for truth," two principles that have been present throughout this pontificate.