Deceased with nearly 100 years, Ramon Sugranyes de Franch was a pillar of Pax Romana and one of the founders of the Pax Romana ICMICA-MIIC. His personal history throws a light on his convictions and his action, convictions and actions which do not cease to inspire Pax Romana.
Born in a place close to Barcelona in 1911, Ramon studied Law and literatures, and had been engaged in the movement of the catholic students during the Spanish Republic (1930-1936). Partisan of the innovative teaching ideas, he worked at the same time as a collaborator for various newspapers. At the beginning of civil war (1936-1939), this enthusiastic catholic is opposed to the spirit of crusade which animates many bishops and Spanish Catholics. Ramon decided to exile in France where he was actively involved with the Committees for civil and religious peace, with Maritain and other intellectuals (Salvador de Madariaga). During the World War II, he takes refuge in Switzerland where he accompanied the cardinal Vidal I Barraquer - the principal representative of the Church opposed to the military uprising of the general Franco.
Oblate Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, a noted theologian, economist and human rights activist, died Jan. 17 in Sri Lanka. He was 89.
He founded the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo in 1971 with the aim of fostering interreligious and interracial action for justice and peace. He was also instrumental in founding the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians in the mid-1970s.
Pax Romana is first of all an umbrella organization of national confederations of Roman-Catholic students with its earliest history dating back to a number of conferences during the last decades of the 19th century. On the basis of these early encounters, the foundation of Pax Romana rested upon two major convictions that pervade its early documents: First the ideal of Roman Catholic peace, mirrored in the very name of ‘Pax Romana’ and second, the selfunderstanding as a Roman Catholic lay avant-garde acting in the modern world.
by Roger POCHON former President of Pax Romana, editor of La Liberté
and Ramon SUGRANYES de FRANCH, President of Pax Romana – ICMICA, Professor at the University Fribourg;
Printed by Bersier - Fribourg ¬ I96I
Scanned and edited by the IMCS Pax Romana International Team, June 2004.
In the volume Memories of Committed Persons, Ramon Sugranyes, recalling the refoundation of Pax Romana as the two Movements, International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS) and International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA), tells how, "quite naturally", he was elected in 1947 General Secretary of ICMICA, as the only founding member living permanently in Fribourg and Professor at the University. He could not then have imagined what he was "quite naturally" letting himself in for: not just the building up of a new Catholic international Organization (CIO), but involvement in at least half a century of ground-breaking participation in practically all sectors of Catholic international life, including active participation in Vatican II.
In July of 1921, students from across the world brutally torn part by World War I met in Fribourg, Switzerland. Inspired by their common Catholic faith and a commitment to peace and justice, they founded the International Confederation of Catholic Students, which became known as “Pax Romana” because of the students witness to build peace that stretched across borders.
The Second Vatican Council’s renewed teachings on the theology of the laity and the church/world relationship did not appear out of thin air. As with other parts of the council’s teaching, key passages and ideas in Apostolicam Actuositatem (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity) and Gaudium et Spes can be traced to important movements of renewal already underway in the decades leading up to Vatican II.