ROME, SEPT. 22, 2003 (Zenit.org).- In the era of relativism, St. Thomas Aquinas is more relevant than ever for his proposal for dialogue between faith and reason, a Vatican official says.
Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, made that observation Sunday at the opening of an International Thomist Congress.
“The Angelic Doctor is the apostle of truth, the sure guide for harmony between faith and reason,” said the cardinal, who stressed the need to “integrate the Thomist challenge in evangelization.”
After criticizing “humanisms that reject a person’s religiosity, turned in on themselves in a fragmentary and closed immanence,” Cardinal Grocholewski posited genuine Christian humanism “in which man is the center of humanism, but not any man — rather, the one who [is] … the perfect man, which the Christian finds in the revelation of Christ.”
The cardinal, who addressed a gathering of 400 people in the hall of the Chancery Palace, a Vatican building in the heart of Rome, presented not only St. Thomas’ message but also the example of his life, “model for all who are seeking the Truth.”
In the opening greeting, Dominican Father Abelardo Lobato, president of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas and the Thomas Aquinas International Society, described the congress as “a choir that must sing in perfect harmony,” and added that “the conquest of truth is always a symphony.”
The priest explained that the congress is not intended to be “fireworks” but “to offer a path for man of the third millennium.”
“Thomist humanism must be today a ray of light in the night,” he said.
The congress is entitled “Christian Humanism in the Third Millennium: The Perspective of Thomas Aquinas.” It is being held until Thursday in the University of St. Thomas, the Angelicum.
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, secretary of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas, read a lengthy papal message addressed to the participants of the International Thomist Congress, in which the Holy Father thanked them for “the service they offer the Church.” The Pope will receive the participants in audience at the end of the congress.