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South Bend bishop speaks on faith and reason

Christin Kloski | Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend spoke about how students can incorporate faith and reason into their daily lives at a lecture at Saint Mary’s on Thursday.

In his lecture, “Symposium on St. Thomas Aquinas; Contemplation by Faith and Reason,” Rhoades discussed the importance of the essence of truth in modern skepticism through the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

He said these ideas could be incorporated in students’ lives through dialogue on faith and reason.

“A college is called to be a house where one seeks the truth proper to the human person and this search involves rising under the two wings of faith and reason,” he said.

He said a Catholic is only able to overcome doubts, resist skepticism and build faith by understanding beliefs built on reason.

“Both trace back to one source of all truth,” Rhoades said. “Divine logos, active in both contexts, is that of creation and that of redemption.”

Rhoades said humans demonstrate an endless determination to know the truth throughout history. From Greek philosophers to contemporary theologians, the search for something more than reality has been unceasing, he said.

“Deep within every one of us, every human being, there is a natural desire, an innate desire to know the truth,” Rhoades said.

He said Catholics discover the meaning of truth is hopeless without God through this process.

Guidance from professors and mentors is extremely important in furthering the religious education of college students, Rhoades said. Many students develop their understanding of truth through observations on moral, religious and social issues during their college years, he said.

Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney said faith and reason are incorporated into student life at Saint Mary’s through classes and social interactions on campus.

“Saint Mary’s is open to the truth and it can be included naturally within the college itself,” Mooney said.