Humility the key for Templeton Prize winner

Tomas Halik interview/Melbourne Catholic

Citing St Augustine, Czech philosopher and Templeton Prize winner Msgr Tomas Halik tells Tiffany Orbien that humility is the path that leads most surely to God.

In 2014, when he accepted the Templeton Prize, awarded to honour a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life's spiritual dimension, Msgr Halik said, "When St Augustine was asked which three paths led most surely to God, he replied 'the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is humility'. Becoming a Templeton Prize winner is a great test of humility".

In conversation with Ms Orbien of the Archbishop's Office of Evangelisation, Msgr Halik, who is visiting Melbourne, spoke of his prize, of his books, of his early days as priest in the underground Church in his native (then) Czechoslovakia, when even his mother did not know for 11 years that he'd been ordained a priest.

He also talked of his appointment by Pope John Paul II to the newly created (now defunct) Council for Non-Believers and the work it did.

Ms Orbien asked Msgr Halik to expand on his statement, made in his acceptance of the Templeton Prize, that he was "deeply convinced that the chief task of faith and theology is to teach us the art of living amid life's paradoxes and the courage to enter the cloud of unknowing".

He spoke of crisis within the Church, but also of the opportunity those very challenges present us, both as functioning Christians and also in relationship with the other disparate aspects of our "post-secular" society.

On the question of dialogue with other believers and with non-believers, he spoke of the need to explore fully, deeply, without conclusions, without fundamentalism, and without assertion. "There are some questions," he said, "that shouldn't be spoiled by answers."

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Distinguished academic and author, Monsignor Tomas Halik, gives exclusive interview (Melbourne Catholic)

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