"Missionary discipleship": this is the special mission that Pope Francis entrusted to all Catholic universities across the globe this morning. In a meeting with the Managing Board of the American "Catholic University Notre-Dame du Lac", the Holy Father said that Catholic Universities, "by their very nature, are committed to demonstrating the harmony of faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life". Pope Francis went on to stress that this missionary discipleship "ought to be reflected in a special way in Catholic universities". And he explained: "Essential in this regard is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors. It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness". Founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross, the University campus – the Pope said – "has made an outstanding contribution to the Church in your country through its commitment to the religious education of the young".” “” “” “

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