Cultural Dialogue Seen as a Way to Avoid the Clash

ROME, JULY 21, 2003 ( Cultural dialogue and «respect for the other» are vital in order to avoid the feared clash of civilizations, says the president of the pontifical Council for Culture.

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«We can avoid a clash of civilizations by promoting an authentic cultural dialogue based on knowledge, respect for the other, and joyful living of our cultural and spiritual identity,» said Cardinal Paul Poupard.

The cardinal expressed these ideas Friday in the homily of the Mass he presided over at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on the occasion of the symposium «University and Church in Europe.»

After emphasizing the central character of the Eucharist in Christian life, the cardinal highlighted the need to «rethink our daily life in the university,» a «crucial» institution for society.

For Cardinal Poupard, «the university is the place for fully human formation, for an education in freedom and in critical ability.»

This critical discernment «is more necessary than ever to discern among the multiple cultural propositions, being aware that not all lead to genuine freedom,» he said.

Lastly, the cardinal called on those present, mostly students, to «renew the intelligent and consistent proclamation of Jesus Christ to all, making good use of creativity.»

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