Monday, November 14, 2011

Chaput: Intellectual, Moral Education Inseparable

In a talk at Assumption College, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput recently made a forceful case for the faithful Catholic academic character that Catholic colleges and universities need to realize in order to affect cultural renewal, Catholic News Agency reported.  In addition to defining this high vocation for Catholic colleges and universities, Archbishop Chaput succinctly analyzed the terrible consequences that have taken place on Catholic campuses “under the banner of ‘academic freedom.’”
From the CNA report on the talk:
“Catholic higher education is heir to the greatest intellectual, moral and cultural patrimony in human history,” the archbishop said in a Nov. 10 address at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. …
The Philadelphia archbishop said that Catholic institutions of higher learning have suffered even more than other Church ministries from secularization that has taken place under the banner of “academic freedom.”
“Instead of Catholics converting the culture, the culture too often bleached out the apostolic zeal in Catholics while leaving the brand label intact,” he noted. …
Instead of seeking to impress the world on its own terms, he said, Catholic schools must recapture the “genius” that once gave life to Western civilization with its harmony of reason and faith.
This type of education “refuses to separate intellectual and moral formation because they are inextricably linked.” And while honoring all subjects, “ it gives primacy to the disciplines that guide the formation of a holistic view of reality – philosophy and theology.”
Authentic Catholic learning, he noted, also makes an impact outside the university campus because it “aids in the creation of a Christian culture and explains what this means for human thriving.”
This type of cultural renewal is not a luxury, but an urgent need, Archbishop Chaput stressed. …
“The vocation of a Catholic college is to feed the soul as well as the mind … to offer a vision of men and women made whole by the love of God, the knowledge of creation, and the reality of things unseen,” Archbishop Chaput reflected.
This, he said, “is the work that sets fire to a young person’s heart … Our task is to start that blaze and let it grow.”

No comments: