On Monday, November 13, 2023, Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan Bishop Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, visited Zarqa Private University, accompanied by the Director of Caritas Jordan Mr. Wael Suleiman. Upon arrival, he was received by the chairman of the board of directors of Zarqa Education and Investment Company, the president of Zarqa University, a number of department and faculty directors, and a group of Caritas Jordan members of staff.
During the visit, Bishop Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso delivered the following address:
First of all let me thank you for the invitation to visit your valued University. As you know, the Papal Nuncio represents the Holy Father and the Holy See in this Country, and so I’m very glad to know little by little the Kingdom of Jordan and the many educational institutions you have built up in the recent years. I was impressed for example from the first days of my presence here of the many academics on the route to the airport.
I’ m here today also to stress our special gratitude for the fact, that this University is a place where also Christians are invited, to the point, that subsidies are offered to Christian students in order to permit their studies here. This is an example more, on how this Country has a special place in the region in order to foster the being together of people of different religions and beliefs. The Holy See is particularly grateful to His Majesty King Abdullah for promoting this spirit. You have a big tradition on that here in Jordan, but it is important to keep this spirit alive, especially in young generations. It is a real challenge for educational institutions to promote the spirit of partnership, because young people are more open and we can more easily instill in them values which can help in common understanding. The very fact, that here Muslims and Christians students live together and learn each other from young age is already a way to eliminate barriers and prejudgments.
But let me mention a special point, where among others University can today offer a special contribution to society according to its very mission. In fact, University is not just a place to learn, but it is a place to apprehend reflection, dialogue, deep understanding of things. University is a place to learn to use reason as a gift given by God to man in order to grasp the very being of things and to articulate our language in order to express it. The different faculties in this University try, everyone in its own field, to motivate students to applicate reason for their own growth and for the better realization of science’s scopes. It is not just a question of learning, but of understanding – we all agree upon this.
But the interesting question we could put on the table is about, if there is a common goal, that all students in all faculties with the help of their teachers can pursue. I think yes, and this common goal is to promote human dignity. What I mean is not just the dignity of the students, which of course is promoted by the very fact of their formation, but I mean that all our efforts should be directed to build up a society where the human dignity is acknowledged, pursued and defended. What about if every faculty puts on its top this goal: agriculture for helping man in feeding himself and his family; architecture for a living space according to human dignity; medicine for a care of the individual according to his dignity; technology for an artificial intelligence serving the very needs of the individual; philosophy in order to formulate a common vision on man and on his dignity. And I could continue…
In this practical approach to human dignity we can find a common approach and collaboration among the different sciences, but we can also find a common ground of cooperation among the different religions. While I thank you for the significant contribution you are offering to this goal, I assure you of the availability of the Catholic Church in this field. The Popes have always --Pope Francis keeps defending human dignity, especially for poor and marginalized. Let us go together this path in order to build up this beautiful country.