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Marist University grants title of ‘Doctor Honoris Causa’ to theologian



Priest receives award for his theological contribution to the Church

26/08/2015: Peru

The University Marcelino Champagnat granted Father Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino the title of Doctor Honoris Causa on Aug. 14 in Lima, Peru.

According to a statement posted on Facebook on Aug. 16, the University gave it to him “in recognition of his academic excellence, intellectual production, and tireless pastoral work for the good of the most in need as well as for his theological contribution to the Church of the XX and XXI centuries.”

Doctor César Delgado Barreto, Doctor Honoris Causa of the University and a childhood friend of Fr Gustavo, gave the public a short biography of Fr Gustavo.

The investiture ceremony of his Doctor Honoris Causa was celebrated at the University, which “is honoured to award this distinction to a person whose life has been spent for the good of the humanization of the world.”

“The intellectual breadth of Gustavo Gutierrez is admirable,” the statement continued. “His thinking condenses a deep understanding not only of theology and philosophy in its various aspects, but also art, especially Peruvian literature, which he has close proximity to.”

Fr Gustavo is a Peruvian philosopher and theologian and launched one of the most influential theological proposals in recent decades in the Catholic Church and the Latin American society: Liberation Theology.

After completing his secondary education at the Marist school San Luis (Peru), he studied psychology at the faculty of medicine at the National University of San Marcos between 1947 and 1950.

He entered the seminary in Santiago de Chile and went to Europe to continue with his graduate studies.

There he completed his theological studies at the theological faculty of Louvain (Belgium) and at the theological faculty of Lyon (France). His teachers were Henri de Lubac and Yves Congar, among others.

This allowed him to have contact with the theologians of the Council and dialogue with the world of Protestant theology, especially Karl Barth. In 1959, he was ordained a priest and in 1960, he returned to Lima.

He is member of the Peruvian Academy of Language since 1995. He became a novice in the Dominican Order in 1998.

In 2003, alongside the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, he received in Spain the Prince of Asturias Prize for Communications and Humanities in recognition of his “coinciding concern for the disadvantaged and for being ethical and admirable models of tolerance and humanistic depth.”

He has won the following awards:Doctor Honoris Causa of the National University of San Marcos (1992);Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities (2003);honorary doctorate in theology from Yale University (2009); Medal R. P. Jorge Dintilhac by the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (2010);National Prize of Culture by the Ministry of Culture of Peru (2012).

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