Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Archbishop José Gomez on Faith, Reason, and the Catholic University

San Antonio Archbishop José Gomez writes at InsideCatholic:
... Reason is a great gift from God, but reason alone can't give meaning to our lives. Reason itself can't provide the justification to defend the weak, the unborn, or the human embryo; reason alone can find no value in a person born with disabilities; reason alone can find no purpose, no dignity in human suffering. That's why it's so dangerous to divorce reason from faith.

It was academic philosophers and medical school graduates, backed up by the highly educated members of the U.S. Supreme Court, who justified and carried out the sterilization of mentally handicapped persons at the beginning of the 20th century. It is academic philosophers and medical school graduates, again backed by the Supreme Court, who justify and carry out abortions and stem cell research today. These same persons are pushing us down a slippery slope toward euthanasia for the elderly and infanticide for babies born with severe handicaps.

That's why the mission of the Catholic university is so crucial. The Catholic university today must be a vanguard for the reconciliation of faith and reason. It must be the leader in exploring and defending the beauty, the mystery, and the truth of the human person.

There is more to this world than just what we can discover through reason and science -- we know this in our hearts. We profess in the Creed that we believe that God is the maker of things "seen and unseen." In the Catholic university especially, our academic research and teaching should reflect this...


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