Amman (AsiaNews) - "By transmitting knowledge and
instilling in students a love of truth, it will greatly enhance their adherence
to sound values and their personal freedom...The result of this process will be a
university that is not only a platform for consolidating adherence to truth and
to the values of a given culture, but a place of understanding and dialogue" These were the words of Benedict
XVI describing the meaning of Madaba University, the first Catholic university
in the country, on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone on May 9,
2009. After four years of work, the university was inaugurated last May 30 in
the presence of Msgr. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, the king of
Jordan Abdullah II, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for
Eastern Churches and hundreds of young students, Christians and Muslims.
Born thanks to the initiative of
the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the American University of Madaba is
headquartered in New Hampshire (USA). A Jordanian Prince chairs the board of
directors of the University, which opened its doors in 2011.
In his speech Cardinal Sandri urged the students to "Grow together in mutual
respect for the religious sensibilities of each other, in reciprocity concerning
practical matters, in courageous healing of historical wounds". "As the primary agents of
interreligious dialogue, you have the best chance to build a society truly
worthy of man." "This university - he added - is a sign of the
interest of the local and universal Church not only in the individuals who are
fortunate enough to attend, but in the greater Jordanian society".
In the words of Pope Benedict
XVI, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, pointed out that "the intellectual nature
of the human person is completed and must be supplemented by wisdom, which
gently draws the human mind to seeking and loving what is true and good.
"This philosophy of education - he added - has been applied in all the
Catholic schools of the Latin Patriarchate since the mid-nineteenth century.
Our first school was opened in Salt, followed by others in the poorest rural
areas of Jordan until their number reached more than a hundred, currently
active in Jordan, Galilee and Palestine. The founding of the University of
Bethlehem 40 years ago and today the American
University of Madaba are the natural continuation of our efforts and
further proof that we believe in the ability of education to create a real
positive change in the hearts of the younger generation " .