Bishop Julian Porteous of Sydney, Australia, spoke recently in a podcast at Cradio, Australia’s new Catholic media service, about the origins and purpose of Catholic universities and what distinguishes a Catholic university from other universities.
After reminding listeners early on in the podcast that the Catholic Church was responsible for the creation of the first universities in Europe, he pointed to a misconception that students at universities are there to just “learn to earn.”
He says universities have always been about the transmission and pursuit of truth and truth will always lead us back to the Catholic faith.
Bishop Porteous remarks on one of the facets that is important to being a Catholic university in the world today:
“I think that one of the very defining issues is, at the present moment associated with being a Catholic university, [to] define the relationship, and strengthen the relationship, between faith and reason."
Bishop Porteous continues:
“Many people in academia these days who are not associated with the Catholic faith tend to think that faith and reason are in opposition to each other. Or maybe they even believe that faith is more connected with superstition or is just a private view of life that a person may have and really has nothing to contribute to the pursuit of knowledge or the progress of humanity and so on. I think one of the very important things that a Catholic university would want to do would be to say that, no, faith actually works in concert, in union with reason in the pursuit of truth, in the pursuit of the understanding of things, and therefore for the advancement of society.”
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.