Zagreb, (IKA) – On Wednesday, June 1, 2016, a formal commemoration and lecture (lectiomagistralis) marked Catholic University of Croatia Day and the tenth anniversary of this institution. The lecture was presented by Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the topic The Family vs. Gender Ideology. As St. John Paul II said, “The future of mankind depends on the family.”
After an introductory prayer led by the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanić, the Grand Chancellor of the Catholic University of Croatia, he welcomed those present and spoke about the development of the University to date and its prospects for the future. “We are aware that universities are presently undergoing rapid and major changes. At the same time, they have a firm foothold in the community. We see attempts to subject all aspects of life in our civilization to market principles. It seems that they want to change the nature of universities or destroy them, precisely at a time when universities are most needed. Namely, universities hold a mirror to the society. In the same way that person needs a place for deliberation and reflection, the society needs places where it can go deeper into itself and think about itself,” said Cardinal Bozanić.
“For believers, these are primarily places of encounter with God, places of prayer and community. However, among such places in society there is a particular need for those that belong to universities,” continued the Cardinal, noting that he had the impression that “we are moving away from that need, and there is the danger that universities may become ‘separate worlds,’ without serious discussions about the world, man and society. Then the ultimate criteria would not be based on the deepest values but everything would revolve around money, that is to say, the means become the ends. The market, no matter how much it penetrates our lives, cannot arrive at the most important answers. The university in essence bears witness to receptivity to understanding and knowledge. It is up to us all to encourage young people to set off on their paths with hope. If we who are older tell them sincerely how we view life and the future, which foundations we consider to be solid, I do not doubt that even the new generations will find their foothold and their means, especially working with what God has entrusted to them.”
He ended his talk by thanking Cardinal Sarah for his presence and lecture and by congratulating the leadership of the Catholic University of Croatia. “I follow you with particular joy and pride, often remembering you in my prayers,” concluded Cardinal Bozanić.
Then those assembled were addressed by the Rector of the Catholic University of Croatia, Željko Tanjić, Ph.D.; the Rector of the University of Zagreb and President of the Croatia Rectors’ Conference, Damir Boras, Ph.D.; the President of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Academician Zvonko Kusić; and the Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Srećko Tomas, Ph.D.
Greeting those present, Rector ŽeljkoTanjić said that there are 650 students and over 90 employees in the fields of history, sociology, psychology, communication sciences and nursingat the Catholic University of Croatia. Furthermore, they are also working on buildinga new university campus and accreditation is being sought for the scientific fields of biomedicine and healthcare. The Catholic University of Croatia should have greater support from the society, said the President of the Croatian Rectors’ Conference, Damir Boras.
Congratulating the Catholic University of Croatia, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Željko Reiner, said that this university has advantages because in addition to fostering science, it is connected with faith and the Church, because scientific progress must also take the value and dignity of man into account.
“In Croatia, the incentive for the development of education, science and art always came from the Catholic Church, said Academician Kusić, mentioning the founding of the cathedral school in Zagreb during the time of Blessed Bishop Augustin Kažotić in the early fourteenth century, the founding of the Dominican university in Zadar in 1396, the establishment of the Jesuit academy in Zagreb in 1669 and of the modern University of Zagreb in 1874, thanks to Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer. “I believe that in history the same size letters will be used to write that in 2006 Cardinal Josip Bozanić established the Catholic University of Croatia,” said Academician Kusić. He said that the Catholic University of Croatia is even more necessary now than ever because of the economic and social crises, warped value system, the relativization of all values and morals, and people’s increasing disorientation.
The meeting was also attended by the Apostolic Nuncio in the Republic of Croatia, Msgr. Alessandro D’Errico, the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Rijeka, Msgr. Ivan Devčić; the Bishop of Varaždin, Msgr. Josip Mrzljak; the Bishop of Sisak, Msgr. VladoKošić; the Bishop of Bjelovar-Križevci, Msgr. Vjekoslav Huzjak, the Bishop of Križevci, Msgr. Nikola Kekić; the Military Ordinary, Msgr. Srećko Bogdan; the Bishop of Gospić-Senj, Msgr. Zdenko Križić; the Auxiliary Bishops of Zagreb, Msgr. Ivan Šašo and Msgr. Mijo Gorski; the Military Ordinary Emeritus, Msgr. Juraj Jezerinac; the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Zagreb-Ljubljana, Porfirije Perić; the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Academician Željko Reiner; the Representative of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Andro Krstulović Opara; rectors, deputy rectors deans, presidents of other Croatian universities and representatives of other scientific and economic institutions as reported by the Press Office of the Archdiocese of Zagreb.