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Włodzimierz WołyniecOcáriz combines the study of theology with contemplation".

Interview with Włodzimierz Wołyniec, professor at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Wrocław, on the occasion of the investiture of Bishop Fernando Ocáriz, prelate of Opus Dei, as Doctor Honoris Causa by this academic center.

Ignacy Soler-June 21, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
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Photo: Włodzimierz Wołyniec

Translation of the article into Polish
Translation of the article into English

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, Msgr. Fernando OcárizThe prelate of Opus Dei, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of Wrocław. One of the promoters of this recognition was its rector until a few weeks ago, Włodzimierz Wołyniec, whom Omnes interviewed on this occasion.

A native of Oława and a Doctor of Theology, Wołyniec has carried out his priestly work as rector and spiritual director of the Metropolitan Higher Theological Seminary in Wrocław. From 2014 to 2022 he has been the rector of this Faculty.

The Pontifical Theological Faculty in Wrocław, whose history dates back to 1565 with the establishment of one of the first seminaries of the Church on Polish soil, has Archbishop Dr. Józef Kupny as its Grand Chancellor and is one of the leading centers of theological studies in Eastern Europe.

Professor Wołyniec, you have been the main promoter of the appointment. Honorary Doctorate of Professor Ocáriz. I would like to ask him first of all about the meaning and importance of awarding a doctorate. Honoris Causa.

- The granting of the title of Honorary Doctorate is the highest academic distinction for outstanding achievements in the field of science and didactics.

Priest-teacher Fernando Ocáriz is the twenty-fifth Honorary Doctorate of the Pontifical Theological Faculty in Wrocław.

I would like to mention that this group already includes Cardinal Joseph Ratzingerwho received this title in 2000, and recently also Cardinal Gerhard Ludwik Müller (2015).

The Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Wroclaw, Archbishop Józef Kupny, notes that many generations of students benefited from the theological knowledge and wisdom of Prelate Ocáriz, including numerous Polish students.

Taking advantage of this occasion, the Church of Wrocław would like to thank the new Doctor Honoris Causa and the. Prelature of Opus Dei the assistance given to students of the Archdiocese of Wrocław to pursue specialized theological studies abroad, in the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome and in the University of Navarra in Pamplona.

The studies carried out in these universities founded or planned by St. Josemaría Escrivá enjoy worldwide fame and bear very good fruit in the higher education of graduates with adequate spiritual attention.

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Photo: Bishop Ocáriz ©Opus Dei

The profile of the new doctor

From the new Doctor, what aspects of his theological work would you highlight? What lines of research at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Wrocław are in line with the thinking of Professor Ocáriz?

- Prelate Ocáriz emphasizes in his theology the supernatural dimension of Christianity and Christian humanism. In his publications he shows that man is introduced by Christ into the Trinitarian life of God and participates in the communion of life and love with the divine Persons. A very important theological theme for him is divine filiation, which is the full transcendence of man and the summit of his personal development.

The theological reflection of the Reverend Professor is profound. It is not only a description of reality, but a discovery of the truth and meaning of reality in the light of the word of God. His theology is characterized by a metaphysical thinking that asks the question of the causa et ratio of all that exists.

However, metaphysical thinking does not distract him from everyday life. On the contrary, it allows you to find answers to the ultimate and deepest questions of contemporary man. At our University, we also want to practice a theology that is close to life and help people find the meaning of life.

In your opinion, what theological aspects should be highlighted in the figure of Professor Ocáriz?

- I would especially like to emphasize one: the contemplative dimension of the theology of our new theology. Honorary Doctorate. It combines the scientific study of theology with the contemplation of the Word of God incarnate.

The Professor wants to know with his mind and heart the mystery of God in Jesus Christ, so that in this way he can "comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and know the love of Christ" (Eph 3:17-19). Therefore, its scientific study is always linked to the mystery of Christ in prayer.

Could you tell us some anecdote or personal memory of your meetings with Professor Ocáriz.

- During my studies at the Ateneo Romano della Santa Croce in Rome in 1987-1992, Professor Ocáriz helped me write my doctoral thesis and was my doctoral supervisor during the first years.

Years later, when I came to Rome to invite him to the honorary doctorate ceremony, he said to me, "Look, I gave you a doctorate in theology and now you are giving me a doctorate in your faculty."

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