Pope Francis Sends Video Message for New Church Opening in Catholic University of Argentina

Says Church Is to Be ‘Heart and Center’ of University, Not Separate

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Pope Francis has sent a video message to the Catholic University of Argentina, in the Campus of Puerto Madero, for the opening of its new main Church.

In the message, the Holy Father stressed that university is “oriented to God, to Jesus” and derives from the Lord His strength, ideas, and teachings. He also highlighted how the church must be at the core of this academic environment.

The church was opened yesterday with a Mass presided over by Cardinal Mario Poli, Archbishop of Buenos Aires who is the chancellor of the University. It is expected to host five daily Masses as well as an hour of adoration, in which teachers, students, officers and university employees can participate.

Expressing his joy for its opening, the Pope said, the new church “is not a temple separate from the university,” but rather is its “heart and center.”

The Holy Father also expressed his hope that the church is always crowded with faithful.

The university itself, in a note, said the new church “responds to the request of Pope Francis of greater spirituality and an encounter with Jesus Christ, even in academic centers.”

“In university,” its rector, Msgr. Victor Fernández, said, “the spiritual life cannot be understood as a secondary activity, because it is vital, essential, and fundamental.”

Noting how the church has a large bell tower which can be seen from every point of the campus, the rector said, the church will be somewhat of a ‘sanctuary.’

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