Greeting professors, staff and students from the University of Parma, Italy today, the Holy Father cautioned of the dangers of isolating students and the university from the whole of society, especially through information technology. Additionally, he spoke of the great reformer, St. Peter Damian and the current need to reform the university.
When Pope Benedict XVI met with the rector, professors, students and staff of the university at midday on Monday, he recalled the life of St. Peter Damian (1007-1072), who studied at Parma, before becoming a great cardinal and reformer. The Pontiff was careful to emphasize the saint’s life as a hermit. Though he lived alone, Benedict XVI noted that he was able to balance “the two fundamental poles of human existence: solitude and communion.”
Students today are in danger of losing this balance, the Holy Father explained, due to the increased use of information technologies. “On the one hand, they run the risk of a growing reduction in their capacity for concentration and mental application on an individual level; on the other, that of isolating themselves individually in an increasingly virtual reality.”
In doing so, students close themselves off to “constructive relations with others."
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Technology and Isolation
The Pope had some wisdom to share with University students. We should all listen and learn.