Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1991


Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities


Father Greeley has given an insightful and eloquent appeal for reflection upon things Catholic-for a retrieval within the Catholic universities of the richness of the Catholic symbolic experience. I can only second his appeal. But the task that Alice Callin and Tim O'Meara have assigned me bears upon a different question, one that Mr. O'Meara framed in this manner: Should the church foster learning that is on the face of it secular? More specifically, should the church encourage, yes, even nurture as part of its own mission research into the physical and biological sciences? This question could obviously be extended further- into the social sciences, the professions of law, business, and medicine, even the humanities-but 45 minutes demands that I limit my compass. Father Greeley has argued the thesis that the Catholic university must foster things Catholic. Mr. O'Meara's question comes almost by way of complementary counterpoint: Should the church as such be vitally engaged in the knowledge that is neither intrinsically Catholic nor immediately religious?

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