Faith and Reason Lead to Christ, Says Pope

Sends Message on Eve of European University Day

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 6, 2005 ( John Paul II told young people that “there is no contradiction between faith and reason,” in a message sent on a day dedicated to university students in Europe.

Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State, read the message Saturday at the vigil celebration of the 3rd European University Day. The vigil was held in Paul VI Hall.

“Dear young people, be moved always by the longing to discover the truth about your life,” wrote the Pope. “May faith and reason be two wings that lead you to Christ, truth of God and truth of man.”

“In him you will find peace and joy,” he stated. “May Christ be the center of all your life. This is my sincerest wish, which I express from my heart to all, accompanying it with my prayers.”

The Holy Father invited his listeners to participate in World Youth Day, Aug. 18-21, in Cologne, Germany. The Pope still plans to attend that event.

“Happy Easter and good luck on the road toward Cologne!” said the Pope.

John Paul II watched the vigil celebration on television in his hospital room at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome. His image was not televised to the students.

Some 10,000 young people gathered in Paul VI Hall for the event. The theme of the day was “Intellectual Search as Way to Encounter Christ.”

The gathering was connected via satellite to groups of young people and their pastors in cathedrals and shrines in Madrid, Zagreb, Genoa, Berlin, Lisbon, Kiev, Bari, Bucharest, Tirana and London.

Each of the young people present at the vigil received a copy of John Paul II’s encyclical “Fides et Ratio,” dedicated to the relationship between faith and reason.

After the meeting in the Vatican, the students processed with a cross to the Church of St. Agnes in Rome’s Piazza Navona.

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