His Eminence, Cardinal Peitro Parolini, secretary of the State of Holy See has visited Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University on December 29th 2019. The meeting was attended by professors, students and administrative staff of the university.
The honorable guest was welcomed by Msgr. Giuseppe Pasotto, Apostolic Administrator of Latin Caucasus in Georgia and Armenia, founder of the university, who presented the University “Sulkhan-Saba University is one of the greatest treasures for us, which, in my opinion should be a place of free thought, understandings and building of the bridges between the cultures” – mentioned the founder.
University rector, Prof. Dr. Vaja Vardidze thanked the honorable guest for visiting the university despite of overcrowded agenda „Your visit is special event for us, helping us to better understand our distinctiveness and our special responsibility”. In his speech, rector has emphasized four dimension where is seen the importance of the University and its mission. Striving for Georgia's Return to the European Family, The hard legacy of the atheist Soviet Union, after this Soviet period Orthodox Church’s re-reviving and communicating with the Catholic Church, and fourth, establishing our self-identity and identity for the Catholic Church. “Our university is trying to contribute to Georgia's return to the European family through the Georgian and European academic spaces and through the experience of the Catholic Church in this country. (...) All this is a difficult and interesting way, as there are many biographies on this path as a witness of Christ and a devotee of Christ. All the support and support on this road is important to us ... Your welcome here is a kind of encouragement and a sign of unity for us, for which we thank you once again. “Please, pray for us! "
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Gocha Barnovi, emphasized the relationship between the Christian faiths and the role of the Sabauni in this dialogue. “The years 2019-2020 are so busy, in terms of relations between Georgia and the Holy See, that it is difficult to separate any particular event. ... Allow me to focus only on the aspect that, in my opinion, has served Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University since its inception, and we will see better results in the future.
As you know, a few time ago, the delegation of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University was in the audience with the Ecumenical Patriarch, his all Holiness Bartholomew. After we introduced to him the environment, history, curriculum and other details of theUniversity, he was pleasantly surprised and noted how welcoming and appreciative such a warm and productive environment among Orthodox and Catholic believers, theologians and students is, which, of course, is not accidental. All this proves the idea of our university as a kind of bridge between the confessions, a model of friendship,” the professor noted.
The cardinal thanked for the invitation and spoke in a welcoming speech about the importance of the university. “I think this university should become a real laboratory of dialogue. Dialogue with whom? First of all, with culture, dialogue with modern culture. (...) We must clearly demonstrate outstanding academic-scientific activity, which goes far beyond the criteria of science, that faith and mind do not contradict one another, they are not opposites. And I want to end my words with the saying of the Pope Benedict XVI and the Pope Francis "Faith and science are two wings that help us to come to the truth ... this university (Sabauni) should continue to serve as a bridge between cultures in dialogue" -summarized cardinal and bring to the attendants Christmas Greetings and blessings from Pope Francis
At the end of the meeting the Rector of the University and The Secretary of State exchanged commemorative gifts.
During the meeting the folk choir of Sabauni performed a traditional Georgian Christmas song