Pope Asks Students for "Universal Mentality"


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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2010 ( Benedict XVI is encouraging university students to reflect on forming a "universal Catholic mentality."

The Pope made this recommendation today when he addressed a group of 4,000 university students from 30 countries who are participating in an international congress promoted annually by Opus Dei. The theme of this year's gathering is: "Can Christianity inspire a global culture?"

"Dear friends, you have come to Rome in Holy Week for an experience of faith, friendship and spiritual enrichment," the Holy Father told the students. "I invite you to reflect on the importance of university study for the formation of that 'universal Catholic mentality' which St. Josemaría described in these terms: 'a breadth of vision and a vigorous endeavor to study more deeply the things that are permanently alive and unchanged in Catholic orthodoxy.'"

After greeting the UNIV participants in Spanish, English and Portuguese, he told them in Italian: "May there be, in each of you, a growing desire to meet Jesus Christ personally, so as to bear joyful witness to him in all places."

At the end of the audience, a delegation of the students gave the Pope a letter signed by Austrian Robert Weber, president of the UNIV Congress 2010.

The letter expresses gratitude to the Pope for a number of things:

"Thank you, Holy Father, for these five years of your Pontificate, in a commission of service and search for the truth. [...]

"Thank you, your Holiness, for the courage with which you invite the faithful of the Church to follow Christ with a total gift of self."

UNIV has been gathering students since 1968. Participants have various cultural encounters, conferences, roundtables, showrooms and concerts, all aimed to delve more deeply into matters relevant to the university, particularly highlighting a spirit of service.