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Some activities of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

Again this year the four schools that currently make up the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross have celebrated their traditional congresses (suspended during the previous academic year because of the Great Jubilee).

On March 1 and 2 the philosophy faculty and guests concentrated on “God and Nature.”

The presentations dealt with the openness of the natural sciences to God at a time when cosmology, physics and biology have taken significant steps in our knowledge of the physical world. The purpose was to re-examine nature’s relationship with God, especially in the light of new scientific contexts and a willingness to overcome the close-mindedness of positivism. Scientists, philosophers and theologians took part in this inter-disciplinary dialogue.

A week later the theology faculty held its sixth annual international symposium on the theme of the “Council of Chalcedon 1550 years later.” The aim was to celebrate Christ as the unfailing light on mankind’s journey through history.

As John Paul II teaches in his letter Novo Millennio Ineunte: “The Word and the flesh, the divine glory and his dwelling among us! It is in the intimate and inseparable union of these two aspects that Christ’s identity is to be found, in accordance with the classic formula of the Council of Chalcedon (451): ‘one person in two natures’...We know that our concepts and our words are limited. The formula, though always human, is nonetheless carefully measured in its doctrinal content, and it enables us, albeit with trepidation, to gaze in some way into the depths of the mystery. Yes, Jesus is true God and true man!” (no. 21).

On March 22, a day-long seminar was held on the Statutes of the State of the Vatican City. The main speaker at the canon law forum was professor Cesare Mirabelli, faculty member of the University of Rome-Tor Vergata. He was introduced by Rev. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Discussed were the reasons for revising the statutes and the relationship of legislative power with the executive. Also debated was the exercise of judicial power within Vatican City.

Also in March a symposium on “Social volunteers and the Church’s mission” was organized by the canon law faculty. The scope was to discuss legal recourses obtained by volunteers in the ecclesial community, as well as those recognized by both national and international bodies. The canon law department thus contributed to the international debate begun when the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 2001 the “Year of Volunteers.”

For its part, the faculty of institutional communications organized on April 26-27 a conference on “Quality Communication between the Church and the Media.” Some 170 participants from 36 nations gathered to study how best to bring the Christian message to everyone by means of the various media and how to do so professionally and with due respect to the mind-set of widely varying publics.

Romana, No. 32, January-June 2001, p. 82-83.