Josemaría Escrivá Obras

In the context of the present socio-political situation in our country and in others, or of war, injustice, or oppression, what responsibility do you attribute to the university as a corporate body, and to professors and students? Should a university permit students and professors to carry on political activities within its precincts?

First of all, I would like to say that in this conversation I am expressing opinions of my own. Since I was sixteen — and I am now sixty-five — I have never lost contact with the university, but I am expressing my own personal way of seeing this matter, and not the point of view of Opus Dei. In temporal and debatable matters Opus Dei does not wish to have and cannot have any opinion, since its goals are exclusively spiritual. In all matters of free discussion, each member of the Work has and freely expresses his own personal opinion, for which he is also personally responsible.

In reply to your question, I think we would in the first place have to come to an agreement about what we mean by 'politics'. If by 'politics' we mean being interested in and working for peace, social justice, the freedom of all men, then in that case everyone in the university as a corporate body is obliged to respect those ideals and to foster a concern for resolving the great problems of human life.

But if, on the contrary, we understand by 'politics' a particular solution to a specific problem, in competition with those who stand for other possible and legitimate solutions, then I think that the university is not the place where politics should be decided.

College years are a period of preparation for finding solutions to these problems. Everyone should be welcome in the university. It should be a place of study and friendship, a place where people who hold different opinions which, in each period, are expressions of the legitimate pluralism which exists in society — may live together in peace.

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