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Archbishop Héctor AguerTodo Noticias/YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) — A preliminary question: Is the “University of Meaning” a pontifical initiative or an “occurrence” of Scholas Occurrentes? This enterprise – I give it this name because the money involved allows us to suspect that it is a phenomenal “scam” (“curro“) – a project of José María del Corral, would not have acquired its current international dimensions if it had not been taken on by the “culture of encounter,” the form consisting of the ecclesiastical copy of Freemasonry. This affirmation is valid, even if biblical foundations and traditional antecedents have been sought. It is a false exegesis.

“Occurrentes” marks the search for an encounter with secular schools or schools of other religions; it is an ecumenical and interreligious initiative. I have no data about its introduction in Catholic schools, which as a whole are doing very badly. I am thinking of the results: a society less and less Christian that’s now agitated by the libertarian cry. I want to point out that President Javier Milei was a student at a Catholic school. It would be very healthy to acknowledge the failure of the system, which in its origins responded to a fact that can be explained as the application of the Church to the exercise of its fundamental mission. But the inner rift that has damaged the katholiké has plunged many of its institutions into ambiguity.

Scholas Occurrentes would have been a necessary project to sustain the Catholic educational system with a link between its institutions, a formative purpose of clear lines, the transmission of the doctrine of the faith, and the apostolic dynamism in favor of Argentine society. It would have been more than a necessary “occurrence.” However, Scholas Occurrentes slips into one of the rifts opened – whether we like to admit it or not – by the Second Vatican Council. The pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI have done the work of closing the rift and, despite innumerable difficulties, left an abundant wealth which is now being squandered by the current pontificate.

Let’s now turn to the issue of the “University of Meaning.” What is being proposed? The prominence of the Pontiff and Scholas Occurrentes is quite frightening. Will it be another Masonic episode? Where will the funds to finance this project come from? I insist on this question: What are they proposing? What does this new invention mean? The question of meaning is the question of Truth. Pilate pointed there: Ti estin alētheia? (Jn. 18:38 ff.) He did not wait for the answer, but rather went out again to convince the Jews who did not set foot in the praetorium (so as not to defile themselves) to choose Jesus as the prisoner to be released for Passover. But they preferred Barabbas. It is evident that not all the Jews were guilty of the death of Jesus. But the Gospel of John designates the leaders of the temple and the Pharisaic scribes as “the Jews”; it is a mysterious categorization that would make history.

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What is Truth? What is “meaning”?

“Meaning” is equivalent to “significance,” the way of appreciating a direction from a point of view, judging reasonably according to the Logos. It is understanding or reason insofar as it discerns things. Who will take on this responsibility which grants them the metaphysical wisdom to educate young people in the meaning of reality, that is to say, in Truth? It remains to be seen what relationship this Scholas Occurrentes project has with the Christian faith.

The participation of papal Rome does not assure the orthodoxy of the proposal. On the contrary, it fills us with concern. Scholas and the orientation of the Pontiff coincide in the priority they give to “interreligious dialogue” and secular contacts. The Church’s mission remains trapped in immanentism. The University of Meaning refers to a man integrated into an anthropology of immanence which does not find its transcendence in God. Under a Christian regime, judging reasonably is a human activity that is strengthened by theology, the science that refers to God as the center and the end (purpose) of life. Immanentism, however, exalts man as a self-creator; it is man who provides meaning. It is a mode of appropriation, of awareness, which is designated under the ambiguous term “culture of meaning.” Is it a Christian culture, or a dive into the traditions of other worlds?

Some years ago Michel de Certeau described the plurality of cultures and the confusion that stemmed from it. The authors of the project should explain their proposals. By not doing so, they are imposing an already determined design. We are waiting for them to open hypotheses and break the interdictions, forgetfulness, and ignorance of a society far from God and the criteria of Truth. This is equivalent to recovering Meaning. Man has been created by God and for God, and therefore the desire for God is inscribed in the human heart. But man can forget, neglect, and even explicitly reject this reality and project these denials onto social life. This is what is happening in the West today (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 28-29). A well-oriented University of Meaning would be welcome.

+ Héctor Aguer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata

Buenos Aires, Friday, May 31, 2024
Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary