Pope Benedict XVI blessed the cornerstone of the Catholic University of the Latin Patriarchate in the city of Madaba south of Amman on the second day of his 4-day visit to Jordan. In an address at the ceremony, the pontiff said Jordan had given priority to extending and improving education, and noted that Her Majesty Queen Rania was active in that noble mission and was an inspiration to many. He also paid tribute to the efforts of "many people of goodwill" who were committed to education, namely the "expert participation" of Catholic and Orthodox Christian institutions. The pope said that the Catholic Church, with support of the Jordanian government, had sought to further university education in the country and elsewhere. He commended the promoters of the institution for their confidence in good education as a "stepping stone' for personal development and for peace and progress in the region. By developing the talents and noble attitudes of generations of student, he said, the university would prepare them to serve the wider community and raise its living standards. He said it would also enhance students' adherence to sound values and their personal freedom, sharpen their critical skills, dispel ignorance and prejudice and assist in breaking the spell cast by ideologies old and new. "The result of this process will be a university that is not only a platform for consolidating adherence to truth and to the values of a given culture, but a place of understanding and dialogue," Pope Benedict told the ceremony. "While assimilating their own heritage, young Jordanians and other students from the region will be led to a deeper knowledge of human cultural achievements, will be enriched by other viewpoints, and formed in comprehension, tolerance and peace," he added. The pope said belief in God did not suppress the search for truth, but would encourage it. "Religion is disfigured when pressed into the service of ignorance or prejudice, contempt, violence and abuse. Indeed, when we promote education, we proclaim our confidence in the gift of freedom," he explained. The pope said science and technology offered extraordinary benefits to society and had greatly improved the quality of life of many people, but the use of science and knowledge needed the guiding light of ethical wisdom. He called on Christian students to be "builders of a just and peaceful society" composed of peoples of various religious and ethnic backgrounds. "These realities must lead, not to division, but to mutual enrichment. The mission and the vocation of the University of Madaba are precisely to help you participate more fully in this noble task, he added.