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Saturday, 22 March 2003


Distinguished Professors,

I am very pleased to meet you on the occasion of the presentation in Rome of the book: Phenomenology World-Wide. Foundations - Expanding - Dynamics - Life Engagements. A guide for research and study. I congratulate Prof. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, the editor of this work, and I greet everyone here. I am grateful to you all for your visit and for the complimentary copy of this publication, which is of particular interest to me.

A special feature of this work is that it contains "many voices", in other words, it is the result of the collaboration of more than 70 experts in the various areas of phenomenological research. This "symphonic" character corresponds with one of the aspirations of Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology. Indeed, he was eager to set up a research community to investigate the great world of humanity and life from different complementary approaches.

I thank God for having allowed me also to participate in this fascinating enterprise, starting with my years of study and teaching, and also later, in the subsequent phases of my life and in my pastoral ministry.

Phenomenology is primarily a style of thought, a relationship of the mind with reality whose essential and constitutive features it aims to grasp, avoiding prejudice and schematisms. I mean that it is, as it were, an attitude of intellectual charity to the human being and the world, and for the believer, to God, the beginning and end of all things. To overcome the crisis of meaning which is characteristic of some sectors of modern thought, I insisted, in the Encyclical Fides et Ratio (cf. n. 83), on an openness to metaphysics, and phenomenology can make a significant contribution to this openness.

Dear friends, in telling you once again of my gratitude for your visit and for the gift of this important philosophical contribution, I wish you success in your activities and cordially bless all of you and your loved ones.


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