Antoni Matabosch, professor emeritus and former dean of the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia, enters at the Royal Academy
Antoni Matabosch, doctor of Theology, entered as full academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED) during a ceremony that was held last thursday, April 25, in the Assembly Hall of Catalan labor Promotion of National Work, headquarters of the RAED. The recipient read the admission speech “Societat plural i religions” (Plural society and religions). On behalf of the Royal Corporation answered the full academician and president of the Experimental Sciences section David Jou. The act was followed by more than 100 attendees and 25 academicians. Among them was the attendance of the cardinal, archbishop emeritus of Barcelona and honorary academician of RAED Lluís Martínez Sistach, who presented the diploma to the new academic, and the cardinal and current archbishop of Barcelona Joan Josep Omella.
In his speech, the new academician draws a religious map in Catalonia and Spain, analyzes the evolution of ecumenism and poses the models of the fit of religions in society based on a historical perspective of interreligious coexistence. A point in which he raises a criticism of the model of French secularism. Finally, he proposes a set of measures to improve the model he defines as non-denominational or positive secularism.
“Given this growing religious pluralism, citizens have reacted in very different ways: some employ self-defense mechanisms and tend to build cultural and religious ghettos separated and impenetrable; others are inclined by indifference, don’t want to look and live as if the others, different, weren’t; there are those who are carried away by fear and react against everything that is new, accusing the newcomers of provoking all kinds of evils; others, finally, even see an opportunity to take advantage of unjust and ruthless. Many members of the Catholic Church also show these wrong reactions, but it must be noted that in the Church have been and are being done many and good efforts to strengthen ecumenical and interreligious relations”, considers the author.
For the new academician of RAED, in this delicate topic of the relationship between religions and society, special care must be taken in an interior attitude that avoids both relativism and fundamentalism.
Matabosch was ordained a priest in Rome in 1959, received a doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and is bachelor of Communication Sciences and Contemporary History at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is a professor emeritus of the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia, of which he was dean between 1978 and 1988. He was a delegate of University Pastoral, Secular Apostolate and Economy of the Archdiocese of Barcelona, director of the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences of Barcelona and president of the Joan Maragall Foundation, among other prominent positions. He has published ten books and hundreds of articles on cultural issues, ecumenism and the relationship between faith and culture.