April 4, 2011

When training priests and educating students in philosophy, the Catholic Church must combat a widespread belief that there is no permanent, objective truth, a new Vatican document said.

Because so many students are influenced by the cultural suspicion of truth, the Vatican said it will require an extra year of study before a student can earn a Church-recognized bachelor's degree in philosophy.

The Decree on the Reform of Ecclesiastical Studies of Philosophy, released March 22 at the Vatican, said "there is often mistrust in the capacity of human intelligence to arrive at objective and universal truth — a truth by which people can give direction to their lives."

The document said the study of philosophy helps people recognize the importance of human reason.