Brendan O'Shaughnessy | Jan. 30, 2014 | Notre Dame News
VATICAN CITY — University of Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., accompanied by members of his leadership team and the Board of Trustees, exchanged messages of support with Pope Francis on Thursday (Jan. 30) during a private audience in the Apostolic Palace.
In the hour-long meeting, Pope Francis displayed flashes of his trademark humor and humility, and he also spoke seriously about the importance of defending Catholic identity and religious freedom.
He said it is essential for Catholic universities to bear “uncompromising witness … to the Church’s moral teaching and the defense of her freedom.”
“It is my hope,” Pope Francis said, “that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness.”