Pope to Educators: Catholic Identity is About Faith

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Pope Benedict met Thursday with a private audience of Catholic educators at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His message was about the nature and cultivation of Catholic identity on campus.

Unlike Pope John Paul II, who lectured Catholic university leaders 18 years ago for watering down their institutions' "Catholic identity," Pope Benedict — a former college professor — spoke to them Thursday as one of their own.

Catholic identity, he said, is not about course offerings or the number of Catholic versus non-Catholic students and faculty on campus. It's about faith, he said: In Catholic institutions, students must be able to grow in the knowledge of Christ and his teachings.

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