Restoration of Truth Seen as Vital for Meaningful Lives

Congress Held at Lateran University

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ROME, FEB. 19, 2004 ( People need the “consistent place of truth” in their lives so that their existence can be full of meaning, says the rector of the Lateran University.

“The subject of truth … in recent decades has seemed diluted,” Bishop Rino Fisichella, the rector, said Tuesday during a congress organized by the university. The theme of the meeting was “The Different Conceptions of Truth in Philosophy, in the Sciences, in Theology, and the Search for a Common Foundation.”

“It is necessary to propose the value of veracity, that is, love of the truth,” Bishop Fisichella said. “Truth must regain its place … [it is] an imperative from which we cannot flee.”

“Truth must regain its place and its consistent situation not only in the organization chart of the sciences, but above all in people’s lives so that their existence can be full of meaning,” he said.

The rector lamented that truth “has been relegated to the sole judgment of the individual and to personal feelings,” a relegation he described as “a mortal snare.”

“It is paradoxical that, with his encyclical ‘Fides et Ratio,’ John Paul II had to intervene in the debate to argue that reason must not be shut in on itself,” he added. “[In] the realm of scientific research, a positivist mentality has gradually prevailed, which not only is removed from any Christian view of the world, but that, moreover, and above all, has dropped any reference to the metaphysical and moral view.”

In regard to truth and theology, Bishop Fisichella admonished that “if the theologian were to lose his passion for truth, his reflection would be condemned to insignificance.”

The university’s School of Philosophy and the International Association Sensus Communis helped organize the congress.

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