Archbishop Miller of Vancouver
speaks at the University of St Thomas in Houston
The following are excerpts of a public
lecture given by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver,
British Columbia, at the University of St Thomas in Houston, Texas, of
which he is an alumnus. The lecture, delivered 28 January , was
entitled: "'The Church's Common Doctor': Thomas Aquinas and the
Contemporary Catholic University".
St Thomas himself never put his mind to
worrying about how to think about a Catholic university
of his time or any other. His writings never touch upon matters of
faculty, students or curriculum as they concern us today. Yet he does
propose specific views about the acquisition of knowledge
about truth and the relationship of faith and reason
which are, I believe, of permanent value to understanding how the
contemporary Catholic university should carry out its teaching and
After a look at the study of Thomism in
centers of higher education
universities and seminaries
following the revival initiated by Pope Leo XIII, what I suggest in this
lecture are several reasons why St Thomas is rightly called "a light for
the Church and the whole world",2 above all the world of the
Catholic Academy at the dawn of this Third Christian Millennium.
Second Vatican Council: Apex and Decline
Following the long tradition according
official approval to Thomas' teaching, which the Church used so widely
and successfully "as an instrument superbly adapted to her purposes,
thus casting the mantle of her own magisterial authority over Aquinas",3
the Second Vatican Council followed suit. It highly praised Thomas,
whose thought had prepared for it in so many ways.
The Decree on Priestly Formation, for
example, recommended that seminarians be taught according to "that
philosophical heritage which is perennially valid". Moreover, their
dogmatic theology should be taught so as to illumine the mysteries of
salvation as completely as possible, and seminarians "should learn to
penetrate them more deeply with the help of speculation, under the
guidance of St Thomas, and to perceive their interconnections".4
In like fashion, the Declaration on
Christian Education praised Aquinas' teaching for showing how faith and
science can work in harmony in Catholic colleges and universities.5
For the first time an ecumenical council recommended an individual
theologian for study, and they gave that honor to St Thomas,6
even though the Fathers themselves made less use of him in their final
documents than in those previously prepared for their deliberations.7
Ironically, right around the same time
as the Council, a decline
what some have called a "collapse"'
in the study of St Thomas was taking place. Several reasons for this
slow falling into neglect can be suggested. First, the renewal of
biblical scholarship prompted by Pius XII's Divino Afflante
Spiritu, published in 1943, introduced scriptural themes and
categories more directly into theology, thereby making Thomas seem
outdated. This was accompanied by a more general ressourcement
among theologians, a return to the study of the Church Fathers, thereby
bypassing the Scholastics, including Aquinas, in favor of the tradition
of a presumed earlier golden age. At the same time, creating an almost
perfect storm, a third movement was in the wind, one which, even if not
intending to do so, undercut the privileged place of Thomism, especially
in seminaries. Aidan Nichols comments on this new emphasis that emerged:
theology itself should be preachable; that is, it should be readily and
immediately able to be "translated" into a Sunday homily relevant to
contemporary situations. In achieving this purpose Aquinas was held to
be no help; he was insufficiently biblical, excessively philosophical
and too complicated. Some blame for the hasty exit of St Thomas from the
Academy should also be placed on what Nichols calls "the off-putting
mode of the pedagogical and literary presentation in which Thomism was
often cast.... [I]its communication in many seminaries and Catholic
philosophy faculties appears to have become dessicated and ahistorica1".9
Pius XI's admonition to "go to Thomas" was insufficiently observed. A
dry summary of certain theses replaced the texts of the Master himself.
Despite this evident decline in the
study of Aquinas, in 1974, Paul VI rather surprisingly expressed his
delight in what he optimistically called "the extraordinary, even if
unforeseen, 'return' of St Thomas, which has confirmed the wisdom of the
supreme Magisterium in declaring him to be the authoritative,
irreplaceable guide in philosophy and theology".10 For his
part, John Paul II hoped that the Council's encouragement, together with
his own particular blend of Thomism and phenomenology, would give a new
impetus to the Church's intellectual apostolate. To be sure, John Paul
did not propose that Thomism was the Church's only philosophy, as had
who had affirmed that "insistence upon the
thought of the Angelic Doctor" is "the best way to recover the practice
of a philosophy consonant with faith".11 Rather, John Paul
allows for a plurality of philosophical systems, with the caveat that to
be acceptable they must share Aquinas' metaphysical realism, including
his position on the natural knowability of the existence of God.12
Certainly Thomas is a "model"13 for the philosopher.
Nevertheless, the Pope adds, despite the high praise owed to Thomas,
"the Church has no philosophy of her own nor does she canonize any one
particular philosophy in preference to others".14
As for theology, John Paul lauds St Thomas as "a model of the right
way to do theology",15 adding that "the Magisterium has
repeatedly acclaimed the merits of Saint Thomas' thought and made him
the guide and model for theological studies".16
Relativism and the Crisis of
Much can be said about the intellectual malaise, the so-called "weak
thought"17 of our contemporaries. Probably there is no single
cause for the corruption of the modern mind. But I would submit that a
good place to begin finding a cause is the penetrating analysis of Pope
According to the Holy Father, among the major challenges to the
Church of the 21st century, and one which presents "a particularly
insidious obstacle in the task of educating", is the massive presence of
relativism in society and in the halls of the Academy. The central
problem of our system higher education is not its failure to provide
strong intellectual and marketable skills, which it can do well enough,
but its premise that reality does not exist independently of the human
mind and cannot be known with any certainty. In this way, even if not
intentionally, far too many colleges and universities stifle the
students' natural desire to know, and to know the truth. This entices
them to avoid the humanities and liberal arts and take refuge in the
professional and practical arts alone, with their expected financial
Another consequence of this underlying assumption
and one even more serious
is that, even if a person practices his or her faith, such faith has
nothing to do with truth; hence, nothing to do with the core purpose of
a university; that is, teaching and research. In situations where what
makes a university "Catholic" is not the content of what is taught
in other words, the curriculum
but only the laudable concern for the "whole student", then its
intellectual foundation has been weakened, perhaps beyond repair.
Important as student life is to expressing one's faith, it can never
replace the curriculum as the principal locus of genuine catholicity in
the world of higher education.19
All too often relativism and privatized faith are not only the
academic's creed, but also that of the person on the street. Indeed,
relativism has become a secular dogma and "it is considered dangerous
and 'authoritarian' to speak of truth".20 A "dictatorship of
in the now famous phrase from Cardinal Ratzinger's homily before he was
In fact, in many universities, seeking truth is considered a
hopelessly impossible, even naive, undertaking. Academics are
suspicious, if not hostile, to any claim to know the truth. They often
suffer from "the widespread conviction that the possibility of attaining
truth is an illusion of traditional metaphysics",22 accepting
as true only what can be experienced.
In the university world skepticism reigns about truth: nothing is
definitive except in the empirically verifiable scientific realm.23
If this University is going to fulfill its mission in the Church as a
community of teachers and learners, its curriculum is going to have to
meet this crisis of truth head-on. It can do so by arguing convincingly,
with passion and respect, that the truth can be pursued and, to a
limited but real extent, attained by the human mind and communicated to
others. Such a service to the truth is the intellectual foundation of
every Catholic university. Today we must reaffirm the "the "passion for
truth"24 that animated St Thomas in order to harness the
intellectual forces necessary for the development of a future of
authentic human flourishing.25 Failure to engage this quest
leads a scholarly community to see itself merely as an educational
provider, trapped in a hall of mirrors of endless choices without focus
or purpose. Consequently, as Ralph McInerny has noted in typical pithy
fashion, "The main reason to read Thomas is to learn things that are
Catholic universities can imitate today what Aquinas did in the
thirteenth century by imbuing their curricula with the desire to search
freely "the whole truth about nature, man and God".27
Although his serene openness alarmed not a few of his contemporaries, he
searched for truth diligently and lovingly among pre-Christian and
non-Christian philosophers, willing to engage in intellectual dialogue
with all wise teachers.28 Thomas showed great liberty of
spirit and intellectual honesty in dealing with new questions and by not
rejecting secularist philosophies a priori and without
Aquinas was ever alert to the truth buried in the opinion of others:
"There is no false teaching which does not have some truth admixed in
it",30 he affirmed. John Paul II observed that for Thomas
"this presence of truth even if it be incomplete and imperfect and at
times distorted is a bridge uniting every man to other men and makes
understanding possible when there is good will".31
Whence the source of the Saint's conviction? In his unrelenting
search for the good and the true, Thomas recognized that the Holy Spirit
was already at work, opening the human heart and making it ready to
welcome the truth of the Gospel. In a celebrated phrase he states: "any
truth, no matter by whom it is spoken, is from the Holy Spirit".32
The action of the Spirit creates an affinity for the truth and draws the
human heart towards it; he helps human knowledge mature in wisdom and in
trusting abandonment to what is true.33 Just as he succeeded
in establishing a fruitful confrontation with the Arab and Hebrew
thought of his time, treating them respectfully but refusing to let
himself be overawed by their authority, so must scholars and students in
a Catholic university, with a similar grace bequeathed by the Holy
Spirit, be free to examine the truth wherever it may be found.
Pope Paul VI sums up this attitude of Thomas to all the great masters
of human thought, an attitude which might well undergird every
university which strives to preserve, hand on and enrich the Catholic
intellectual, moral and artistic tradition. First, he began with great
admiration for the intellectual patrimony of other traditions. Second,
he recognized the value and significance but also the limitations of
each thinker. Finally, he was compassionate towards those who, like the
philosophers of antiquity, lacked the light of faith.34 The
Holy Father then speculated on how Thomas would confront contemporary
"We are convinced that were he among us today he would be no less
eager to investigate the forces that are bringing about changes in man,
his conditions, his manner of thinking and his way of life. Whatever
would help him now to speak of God more worthily and persuasively than
ever before would be in his eyes a cause for rejoicing. Yet in all this
he would never lose that serene, magnanimous sense of security which
faith alone can bestow on the human mind".35
The Angelic Doctor is a marvelous example of Christian scholars open
to the signs of the times shaping their age and yet remaining faithful
to the path marked out by faith, tradition and the Church's teaching.36
What a lesson this is for civilized and respectful scholarly interchange
in the Academy!
Doctor Concordiae: Harmony of Faith and Reason
Besides being, par excellence, the Doctor Veritatis,
Thomas is also the Doctor Concordiae; that is, he is
the pre-eminent teacher of the harmony between faith and reason, the
"two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of
In addressing the University community at Leuven in 1985, Pope John
Paul II affirmed: "The whole living tradition of the Church teaches us
this: faith seeks understanding, and understanding seeks faith. Both the
need to understand and the need to believe are deeply rooted in man's
heart. It is for this reason that the Church herself was the point of
departure for the creation of universities".38 Nonetheless, a
particular challenge faces universities today in that many would detach
faith from reason, and reason from faith. This challenge can be met if
teachers and learners take the Angelic Doctor as their master.39
"With his charism as a philosopher and theologian", says Pope Benedict,
"he [Thomas] offered an effective model of harmony between reason and
faith, dimensions of the human spirit that are completely fulfilled in
the encounter and dialogue with one another".40
For Aquinas, then, faith and reason should be neither separated nor
placed in competition; rather, they go hand in hand. "Both the light of
reason and the light of faith come from God, he [Thomas] argued; hence
there can be no contradiction between them".41
On the relationship St Thomas is truly enlightening. Commenting on
this,42 Pope John Paul II has said:
"Philosophical and theological truth converge into a
single truth. The truth of reason ascends from creatures to God; the
truth of faith descends directly from God to man. But this diversity of
method and origin does not detract from their fundamental unity, because
there is a single identical Author of truth manifested through creation,
and truth communicated personally to man by means of His Word.
Philosophical research and theological research are two different
directions of movement of a single truth, destined to meet, but not
collide, on the same road, in order to help each other. Thus reason,
illuminated, strengthened and guaranteed by faith, becomes a faithful
companion of faith itself and faith immensely widens the limited horizon
of human reason".43
Pope Benedict reaffirms his predecessors' views that Aquinas offers
"an effective model of harmony between reason and faith, dimensions of
the human spirit that are completely fulfilled in the encounter and
dialogue with one another".44 Indeed, "an intellectual
'culture' which is genuinely Catholic", must be "confident in the
profound harmony of faith and reason".45 The Holy Father
affirms that "a natural friendship exists between faith and reason,
founded in the order of Creation itself.46 The synergy
between the two is the linchpin of Benedict's thought. At the origin of
the Christian faith there is not only the Jerusalem of the theologians
but also the Athens of the philosophers.
In dealing with the harmony between
faith and reason developed so exquisitely by Aquinas, the Holy Father
leaves no doubt about the Christological center of this vision. For
Thomas, he writes, "the definitive fulfilment of every authentic human
aspiration rests in Jesus Christ".47 But it was the genius of
Aquinas to have highlighted the autonomy of philosophy, and with it the
laws proper to reason. He gave a new emphasis to the specific
responsibility of reason, which was not to be absorbed by faith.
According to Thomas, Christianity was obliged to argue the case for its
Drawing, then, on St Thomas, Pope
Benedict is convinced that it is urgent for contemporary thinkers "to
rediscover anew human rationality open to the light of the divine
Logos and his perfect revelation which is Jesus Christ, Son of God
made man".49 Nor does he exhort only scholars. In countless
homilies and discourses he cites St Peter's injunction to every
Christian: "Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands
from you an accounting for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet 3:15). It is
the Christian faith which safeguards reason in the modern world. Indeed,
faith liberates reason from its own limitations. God has revealed
himself as creative Reason and, precisely as the
has acted and continues to act lovingly on
our behalf. "In the beginning was the Word", the Logos, and "the
Word became flesh" (Jn 1:1,14). The divine Logos is thus the
origin of the universe, and this same
was united once and for all with humanity,
the world and history, in Christ.50 Moreover, this Reason is
not a mathematics of the universe nor a first cause that withdrew after
producing the Big Bang. Rather, it has "a heart such as to be able to
renounce its own immensity and take flesh".51
The Holy Father addresses directly the
consequence for higher education of holding to such an understanding of
reason. In his first major address to academics he affirmed: "This then
is the great challenge to Catholic universities: to impart knowledge in
the perspective of true rationality, different from that of today which
largely prevails, in accordance with a reason open to the question of
the truth and to the great values inscribed in being itself, hence, open
to the transcendent, to God".52
Because God is Reason, our
faith has something that has to do with reason; it can be passed on
through it and has no cause to hide from it.53 Whenever faith
in God separates itself from its rational foundation, such a faith is
put at risk.54
Without the light of faith, however,
human reason cannot find sure and fulfilling answers to today's many
urgent problems. Catholic universities, if they are to remain true to
the intellectual tradition which has shaped them from their beginning,
are called to bear witness not only to the dignity of human reason and
its capacity for knowing reality but also to the role played by faith in
learning. Our universities are broader, not narrower, in their outlook,
since the study of divine revelation opens up a whole area of reality
beyond the reach of reason left to its own natural resources. As Fr
Victor Brezik once reminded us, "the combination of the world of
revealed knowledge with the world of rational knowledge gives the
Catholic university a much more challenging horizon of study".55
The Mall without the Chapel would be
incomplete; and the Chapel without the Mall would be in exile. What we
are blessed to have at UST is an architectural embodiment of a sound
Thomism. The Catholic sacramental imagination demanded the completion of
the Academic Mall crowned by the Chapel — and we are forever grateful to
Dr Joe McFadden for that. Moreover, that the Chapel bespeak a certain
prominence for faith is also necessary. When the study of the world
guided by reason and faith is taken seriously, a certain hierarchy of
importance emerges. That is why theology and philosophy have long been
accorded a kind of primi inter pares status in the University's
Furthermore, fidelity to Thomas also
demands that a Catholic university teach theology as a divine science,
and not religious studies, a human one dependent on rational inquiry
alone.56 Even though the core beliefs of Christianity are
revealed and held by faith, students have to be informed of what they
are. Aquinas never suggests that explaining the content of the articles
of faith will bring about a response of faith, but he does think that we
need to be told them. Theology courses at a Catholic university propose
sacra doctrina. They set out what Christ taught in the
Gospels, since he "is the first and chief teacher of spiritual doctrine
and faith".57 Consequently, a Catholic university should be a
place in where special attention is given to ensuring that students
learn from theologians who propose the teaching of Christ as historical
Authentic Christian faith does not fear
reason "but seeks it out and has trust in it".59 Faith
presupposes reason and perfects it. Nor does human reason lose anything
by opening itself to the content of faith.60 When reason is
illumined by faith, it "is set free from the fragility and limitations
deriving from the disobedience of sin and finds the strength required to
rise to the knowledge of the Triune God".61 The Holy Father
observes that St Thomas thinks that human reason, as it were, "breathes"
by moving within a vast horizon open to transcendence. If, instead, "a
person reduces himself to thinking only of material objects or those
that can be proven, he closes himself to the great questions about life,
himself and God and is impoverished".62 Such a person has far
too summarily divorced reason from faith, rendering asunder the very
dynamic of the intellect.
What does this mean for Catholic
universities today? Pope Benedict answers in this way: "The Catholic
university is [therefore] a vast laboratory where, in accordance with
the different disciplines, ever new areas of research are developed in a
stimulating confrontation between faith and reason that aims to recover
the harmonious synthesis achieved by Thomas Aquinas and other great
Christian thinkers".63 When firmly grounded in St Thomas'
understanding of faith and reason, Catholic institutions of higher
learning can confidently face every new challenge on the horizon, since
the truths discovered by any genuine science can never contradict the
one Truth, who is God himself.
1 Cf. Brian Davies, "Aquinas and Catholic Universities",
New Blackfriars, 86 (May 2005), 276-277.
Lumen Ecclesiae, 1.
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council,
Optatam Totius, 15, 16.
5 Cf. Second Vatican
Ecumenical Council, Gravissimum Educationis, 10.
Cf. Paul VI, Lumen Ecclesiae,
Cf. Avery Dulles, The Craft of Theology
(New York: Crossroad, 1992), 121-124.
8 Cf. Philip Gleason, Contending with Modernity: Catholic
Higher Education in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1995): "hardly had this climax [of the Thomistic
revival] been reached when a decline set in that was so sudden and so
steep as to justify calling it a collapse".
9 Aidan Nichols, Discovering Aquinas (Grand Rapids,
Eerdmans, 2002), 141.
10 Paul VI, Address to the Members of the Commission in
Charge of the Index Thomisticus (20 May 1974): L'Osservatore
Romano (20-21 May 1974).
11 John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 57.
12 Cf. Ibid., 53.13
13 Admittedly, John Paul's referring to Thomas as "model"
is more concerned with that role in the study of theology rather than of
philosophy: the Church has been justified in consistently proposing St
Thomas as a master of thought and a model of the right way to do
theology" (John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 43); "the
Magisterium has repeatedly acclaimed the merits of St Thomas' thought
and made him the guide and model for theological studies (John Paul II,
Fides et Ratio, 78); "the Magisterium's intention has
always been to show how St Thomas is an authentic model for all who seek
the truth (ibid., 78).
14 John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 49.
15 Ibid., 43.
16 Ibid., 78. Another typical remark is John
Paul's statement to the International Congress of the St Thomas Aquinas
Society, where he says that the Angelic Doctor "in the field of
systematic and speculative theology, has always been the object on the
part of the Magisterium of the Church of special praise and
recommendation, even as recently as the well-known directives of the
Second Vatican Council, in the specific field of priestly formation (Optatam
Totius, n. i6)": L'Osservatore Romano English-language
edition [ORE] (27 January 1986), 6.
17 John Paul II, Message to the Sixth National Meeting of
University Professors (4 October 2001), 5.
18 Cf. Stephen M. Krason, "Education, Truth, and the
Catholic University", Social Justice Review (March/ April 1990), 65.
19 Cf. Stanley Hauerwas, "How Risky Is The Risk of
Education? Random Reflections from the American Context",
Communio, 30 (Spring 2003), 82-83.
20 Benedict XVI, Address to the Convention of the Diocese
of Rome (7 June 2007).
21 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Homily at Mass Pro
Eligendo Romano Pontifce (18 April 2005): Origins,
35:45 (28 April 2005), 720.
22 John Paul II, Message to
the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (5 May 2000), 5: ORE,
21 (24 May 2000), 9.
23 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger,
Homily at Mass Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice (18 April 2005):
Origins, 35:45 (28 April 2005), 720.
24 John Paul II, Fides et
25 Cf. Benedict XVI, Address
to the Academic Community, Prague (27 September 2009).
26 Ralph Mclnerny, A First
Glance at St Thomas Aquinas (South Bend: University of Notre Dame
Press, 1990), 2.
27 John Paul II, Ex Corde
28 Cf. Paul VI, Lumen
Ecclesiae, 19: "He carefully examined their assertions,
opinions, doubts and difficulties; he enquired into the intellectual
causes and bases of these and not infrequently looked as well to the
social and cultural context of their thinking. Then he would set forth
their ideas, especially in the various Disputed Questions and the two
Summas. He did not, however, think of these ideas primarily as
difficulties to be solved or objections to be answered. He was
interested rather in presenting the dialectical process by which he had
been led to certain positions through arguments requiring careful
reflection and examination".
29 Paul VI, Lumen
St Thomas Aquinas, Summa
John Paul II, Address to the Participants
in the Eighth International Thomistic Congress (13 September 1980), 3.
32 St Thomas Aquinas,
Summa Theologiae, q. 109, a. 1, ad 1: "omne verum a quocumque
dicatur a Spiritu Sancto est".
33 Cf. Paul VI, Lumen
Ecclesiae, 10: "Every truth, no matter who utters it, is from
the Holy Spirit, since he bestows the natural power of knowing and moves
the person to understand and express the truth".
34 Cf. Paul VI, Lumen
36 Cf. ibid.
37 John Paul II, Fides et
38 John Paul II, Address to
the University Community of Leuven (20 May 1985), 2: ORE (22 July
39 Cf. Paul VI, Lumen
Ecclesiae, 14: We are justified "in seeing in him [Thomas] a
man whom God in His wisdom has given to the Church, a man who by
the originality and power of his work set Christian thought on a new
track, especially in regard to the
relationship between reason and faith".
40 Benedict , Angelus (28
41 John Paul II, Fides et
Ratio, 43; cf. St Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles,
42 St Thomas Aquinas,
Summa contra Gentiles, IV, 1, n. 3349: "Since natural reason
ascends to a knowledge of God through creatures and, conversely, the
knowledge of faith descends from God to us by a divine revelation
[and] since the way of ascent and descent
is still the same
we must proceed in the same way in the things above reason which are
believed as we proceeded in the foregoing with the investigation of God
43 John Paul II, Address to
the Participants in the Eighth International Thomistic Congress (13
September 1980), 4. Modifications in the published English translation
made by the author, after consulting the Italian original.
44 Benedict XVI, Angelus (28
45 Benedict , Homily at
Nationals Stadium, Washington (17 April 2008).
46 Benedict XVI, General
Audience (28 October 2009).
Benedict , Address to the Plenary Assembly
of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (10 February 2006).
48 Cf. Benedict, Address
Prepared for the University of Rome, La Sapienza (17 January 2008).
49 Benedict , Address at the
University of Regensburg (12 September 2006).
50 Cf. Benedict XVI, Address
to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (25 November 2005).
51 Benedict , Address to the
Swiss Bishops (9 November 2006).
52 Benedict , Address to the
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (25 November 2005).
53 Cf. Benedict XVI, Address
to the Swiss Bishops (9 November 2006).
54 Cf. Benedict , Address to
the Representatives of Science, University of Regensburg (12 September
55 Victor B. Brezik, "The
Role of Faith in University Education", Homiletic and Pastoral Review,
105:7 (Summer 2005), 23.
56 Cf. Romanus Cessario,
"Thomas Aquinas: A Doctor for the Ages", First Things, 91
(March 1999), 30-31.
57 Cf. St Thomas Aquinas,
Summa Theologiae, III, q. 7, a. 7.
Cf. Brian Davies, "Aquinas and Catholic
Universities", New Blackfriars, 86 (May 2005), 285.
59 John Paul II, Fides et
60 Cf. Benedict, Angelus (28
61 John Paul II, Fides et
Ratio, 43; cf. St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae,
I, 1, 8 ad 2.
62 Benedict XVI, Angelus (28
63 Benedict XVI, Address to
the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (25 November 2005); cf. John
Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 78: "The Magisterium's intention
has always been to show how St Thomas is an authentic model for all who
seek the truth. In his thinking, the demands of reason and the power of
faith found the most elevated synthesis ever attained by human thought,
for he could defend the radical newness introduced by Revelation without
ever demeaning the venture proper to reason".