Mariano Fazio: “The university’s task is be open to the great truth and to constantly rediscover it”

The axillary vicar of Opus Dei, Mariano Fazio, visited the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, where he gave a speech titled: “Freedom, Truth and University.” Priest, historian, philosopher, and university professor, he spoke to more than four hundred people in the University’s Aula Magna. Fazio also had the opportunity to visit the two UIC Barcelona campuses

Opening with our University motto, veritas liberabit vos (the truth will make you free), Mariano Fazio asked, “what is this truth that is so great it makes us free, that leads us to have a full life?” as he began his speech. This question led him to spell out the anthropological characteristics of man, emphasising one fundamental characteristic, which sets the pace in moving toward this fullness: “We come from God and we go back to God;” he said; “this is the great theme of many classics. We can say that the person is made for good, beauty; that which the classics call the transcendentals. And, to reach our final end, we must do it freely.”

It was in this sense that Father Fazio, using the words of Pope Francis affirmed that “we are in this world, not in senseless wandering but on a pilgrimage.” The wander, disoriented with no compass, going in circles not knowing where they are, while the pilgrim walks, freely, toward a clear goal. “And if I mess up,” he continued, “I get up; and if there is something that keeps me from walking on the road, I get rid of it.”

“What does all this have to do with the university?” he asked. “A lot. The love the Christian faith has for the truth. In fact, universities were born from that love for the truth.” The truth about the world. The truth about man. “The primary key to the pontificate of John Paul II was the truth about the human person, and of Benedict XVI, the confidence of man to reach the truth and overcome what he called the “dictatorship of relativism” if faith and reason work together.”

Mariano Fazio insisted on the need for this dialogue between faith and reason, “because a faith without reason is fanaticism and a reason, without faith, positivism.” Therefore, he was very clear that “the task of the university is to be open to the truth and to rediscover it constantly.” It is true that there are some disciplines, such as the Humanities, that go deeper into these questions, but “we also have to discover, in all the other disciplines, this vocation of service: to make ourselves available to the human person. The same goes for an economist, an architect or a doctor. Every profession has a humanistic perspective that must be cared for.”

The conference, which was attended by more than 400 people, ended with a colloquium during which there was an opportunity to ask the speaker questions.

The axillary vicar of Opus Dei had the opportunity during the morning to visit the clinics on the Sant Cugat Campus, where he was “captivated by the great human work being carried out specifically in the UIC Barcelona Cuides Clinic.”

Mariano Fazio (Buenos Aires, 1960) is a lecturer of History of Political Doctrines at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, where he was also rector (from 2002 to 2008). Author of more than 30 books such as Libertad para amar, a través de los clásicos [Freedom to Love Through the Classics] (2022) and Contracorriente... Hacia la Libertad [Countercurrent, Towards Freedom] (2021), among others, currently serves in Rome, as auxiliary vicar of Opus Dei.