The Appeal of the Professors Universities and Colleges in the centennial year of St. John Paul II’s birth

Dear Professors, University Teachers,
Dear Doctoral students and students,

We turn to you with an appeal that we are addressing at the moment in which we especially remember Karol Wojtyła, the professor, great university teacher, philosopher, cardinal, and pope. We would like to recall his significant contribution to the development of science, above all in the field of anthropology and humanism.

The month of October is traditionally associated with the beginning of the academic year at our universities, and this year, October 16th marks the 42nd anniversary of the election of John Paul II, while 2020 marks the centennial anniversary of his birth. This is a good opportunity to introduce once again Karol Wojtyła’s teaching in philosophy, culture, and sociology into our lecture programs, didactic classes, and scientific work; and we encourage you to do that.

In today’s world, where we observe the homogenization of culture, the reevaluation of social attitudes, and a diversity of opinions, the role of universities and colleges is to search for certain points of reference and superior values capable of cementing our societies. The directions on this path were prophetically indicated by St. Pope John Paul II. In the Encyclical Fides et Ratio, he wrote that within the horizon of personal self-consciousness: the more human beings know reality and the world, the more they know themselves in their uniqueness, with the question of the meaning of things and of their very existence becoming ever more pressing.

This search for undeniable meaning is a challenge for our students today in the increasingly complicated reality that surrounds them. Technological development and the ever-more limitless possibilities of virtual communication accompanying it represent a great opportunity, but they also create unprecedented threats. In the face of these facts, the Polish Pope’s teaching and his attitude towards life can inspire young people to strive for truth and inner freedom. we encourage the academic lecturers to use modern media and new teaching methods to make St. John Paul II’s academic, artistic, and spiritual achievements known.

St. John Paul II’s courage and steadfastness in his pursuit of the truth today become an authentic testimony and help in finding answers to key existential questions. The Holy Father pointed out that universities, in their activities, are at the service of known and transmitted truths, which are an organic condition of the whole society’s subjectivity.
It is, therefore, especially important to creatively accompany young people and form them to assume social roles responsibly. In the already-mentioned Encyclical Fides et ratio, we read that faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.

Let us use this potential in our academic environments. May the teaching of St. John Paul II be an incentive for students to respond to challenges and to develop themselves!

The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin    Contact the author of the petition

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