The Catholic University of America

May 23, 2013

New Book Features Works of Pope Emeritus

The Catholic University of America Press has published the first and only collection of Pope Benedict XVI’s major addresses on the topic of Catholic higher education.

Pope Benedict XVI’s most important addresses on the topic of higher education are featured in the newly released A Reason Open to God: On Universities, Education, and Culture, published by The Catholic University of America Press.

The book includes a foreword by CUA President John Garvey. The collection is edited by J. Steven Brown, associate professor of mechanical engineering at CUA.

“The Press is delighted to publish Pope Benedict’s book, which is at turns provocative, thoughtful, and nuanced,” says Trevor Lipscombe, director of The Catholic University of America Press.

“It is invaluable for those who seek to understand more fully the role that faith ought to play within the academy, or what, precisely, makes a Catholic university Catholic. For us at CUA, it is of deep personal significance — it is both a story that Benedict tells about ourselves and a challenge that he presents to us. It is, therefore, a book not only to be read, but to be acted upon, by all those who work in the sphere of Catholic education,” says Lipscombe.

In a May 20 book review that appeared in the National Catholic Register, Church historian Rev. C.J. McCloskey wrote, “The Catholic University of America Press has done us a great service by publishing A Reason Open to God, with Pope Benedict’s teachings during his pontificate.”

Father McCloskey said the “book deserves a place on the bookshelves of every Catholic teacher, student, and parent — and its words a place in their hearts.”

The Pope’s most important statements on the nature of the university and its cultural and educative tasks are brought together in A Reason Open to God. The volume features the various speeches he has given to university audiences since the beginning of his pontificate. Also included are select addresses on education and culture.

Among the speeches featured in the book is the address given by Pope Benedict XVI to Catholic educators during his April 2008 visit to Catholic University.

“At the center of a Catholic education, as at the center of Catholicism itself, is a friendship between God and man, mediated through the tradition of the church,” writes Garvey in his foreword.

“Benedict’s insistence on the centrality of friendship with God in Catholic education is not trite or sentimental rhetoric. It is a deeply held theological commitment that is evident throughout his career as a theologian and ecclesial authority. … nothing we do, no matter how intellectually rigorous or scientific, happens outside our relationship with God,” he continues.

“To forget this is to forget who we are and for what and for Whom we are made. This is the main point of the Pope’s writing on this subject, and it is the reason we should pay attention to what he has said.”

To order Pope Benedict XVI’s A Reason Open to God, visit The Catholic University of America Press at



More news from CUA