RUŽOMBEROK (September 28, 2011) - Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop - Metropolitan of Cologne was awarded the honorary title of doctor honoris causa by the Catholic University in Ružomberok (CU) on 28 September 2011. He took the award from the hands of the rector of CU, Prof. Tadeusz Zasępa, for unwavering commitment to proclaiming the Gospel, building the universal Church, for empathy and support of formation and education, as well as for helping people in need and for various needs in Slovakia. The Scientific Council of CU decided to confer the honorary doctorate at its meeting on 14 April 2011.
"The underlying assumption of the Christian responsibility is aware of the necessity to live and create. Only man creates culture and is responsible for it, only he understands it, he inherits, judge, cultivates, and so proves that these actions go beyond his animal dimension of his existence," said rector prof. Tadeusz Zasępa during his speech to the academics. He noted that the centre of such a formation is an university, especially a catholic university. He thought that students and the university teachers learn to create, to serve and to create culture here. "Confirmation of such an approach is the person of His Eminence Cardinal Joachim Meisner. His heart and mind are given to the Church in different roles, they are given to the Central and Eastern Europe that he understands and loves, to people who are insecure and seeking, as well to youth – the hope and future of the Church, "said rector.
Cardinal Joachim Meisner, in his lecture after the granting of an honorary doctorate focused on the conscience as the norm of acting. "Conscience, therefore, has to be cultivated as a judge who is obliged to known law well. It is true that the conscience does not lose its dignity, even then when it is wrong, because of the invincible ignorance ", said the cardinal and mentioned: " Conscience is a standard norm, which is standardized via reality and commands of God. There is no conscience, without the previous standards. God's truth, in the fact of creation and commandments of a common human life, updates through conscience." Laudation to awarded Cardinal Joachim Meisner was delivered by prof. Anton Tyrol, the teacher of the CU and Vicar General of Spišská Diocese, who in addition emphasized his willingness to help Slovakia. "Cardinal gives not only material help but also heart to those who are dependent on it. For these ways of his helps – behind this should be seen a willingness of many German benefactors and prosperous system that can collect small gifts - and the goodness of his heart was a source of benefits also for Slovakia", he said.
The Honorary doctorate primarily emphasizes the close relationship of Cardinal Meisner to CU and to the whole Slovakia, he noted during the briefing with journalists and added: "Slovakia does not belong between big countries, because of its area and population, but in the international community has an important role and we must give it deserved attention.” Rector of CU said, that it is a major event for the University to award the honorary doctorate to Cardinal Meisner. "He is so great that this award he does not need, but for us it's a great honour.” President of the Conference of Bishops of Slovakia, Archbishop of Bratislava, Mons. Stanislav Zvolensky said: “In this award is included awe and gratitude for his education/ and for his help and support of the development of The Catholic University." Cardinal Meisner in the connection with the building of a new University Library CU (on the bottom of the photo, Cardinal Meisner during the inspection of the construction), which he supported financially, said that it is not a luxury to have a good university library. "The library is quite essential matter and it is mind and memory of each country, region and even the Church." [z1] Rector prof. Zasępa added that The Catholic University has undergone a tremendous development in a relatively short period of its existence. "Even now we have several major challenges before us. One of them is that we want to successfully complete the recently started construction of the university library ", stated rector for TASR (The News Agency of the Slovak republic).
The ceremony of honorary doctorate award was a part of the inauguration of the new academic year 2011/2012 at CU, which in its four faculties currently educates about 8,500 students in bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in full-time and part-time study. At the Faculty of Arts and Letters it is possible to get a master's degree in psychology within two years of study from this academic year. The Faculty of Education will provide lessons from three new bachelor degree programs: education, medical pedagogy and Italian language and literature in combination. At the Faculty of Health Care are new this undergraduate study programs: physiotherapy and public health, except of them faculty has first students at the postgraduate study program: nursing. Doctoral programs: family studies and the missionary and charitable activity are also new study programmes at the Faculty of Theology CU, which in the following four-year term will be led by its new dean, prof. Cyril Hišem.
Translation by Mgr. et Bc. Michaela Moldová Chovancová