01. June 2023

Bishop Johan Bonny to Address University of Bonn Bishop Johan Bonny to Address University of Bonn

The Faculty of Catholic Theology will award him an honorary doctorate in a public ceremony on Tuesday, June 6

The Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn is to confer an honorary doctorate on the Bishop of Antwerp, Dr. Johan Bonny, in recognition of his outstanding service to the synodality of the Catholic Church and the revitalization of its teachings on marriage, the family and other forms of relationship and ways of life. The ceremony will be held at 6:15 pm on Tuesday, June 6 at the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW), Heussallee 16–24, Bonn. There are still some spaces available. Please email dekanat.ktf@uni-bonn.de to reserve a seat. 

Bishop Dr. Johan Bonny
Bishop Dr. Johan Bonny - will be addressing the University of Bonn on the theme of “From Babylon to Bonn.” © Photo: Philippe Verhoeven
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Bishop Johan Bonny’s address to the University of Bonn will be entitled “Von Babylon nach Bonn” (“From Babylon to Bonn”). The bishop is synonymous with a shift in the Church’s theological views in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council that Pope Francis is promoting. He is critical of exclusionary and discriminatory narrowmindedness and misguided trends in doctrine that are causing more and more people to turn away from the Church disappointed and hurt. At the heart of his reflections lie an unconditional respect for personal conscience and the call for personal morality and pastoral care in the Church. Johan Bonny has articulated his views in academic lectures, public statements and interviews. Within Germany, he is best known for his comments on the 2014 Synod on the Family and as an international observer of the fourth and fifth meetings of the Synodal Way.

About Johan Bonny

Johan Jozef Bonny was born in the Belgian city of Ostend in 1955 and grew up in a large family in the countryside. He studied theology and philosophy at the Major Seminary in Bruges and KU Leuven. His ordination to the priesthood in 1980 was followed by a licentiate and doctoral studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He then returned to the Major Seminary in Bruges as a Professor of Church History, Ecclesiology, Ecumenism and Spirituality, also going on to serve as dean and director of pastoral care. At the same time, he was involved in youth work, in adult education, in ecumenism and on the priests’ council in his diocese for many years and in various roles. He was a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity from 1997 to 2008, where he focused on Orthodoxy, the Eastern Churches and ecumenical communities such as Taizé, and served as rector of the Belgian Pontifical College in the same period. In 2009, he was installed as bishop of Antwerp. He chairs several committees of the Belgian Bishops’ Conference and represents it in its dealings with the Belgian government. He has also been a member of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity since 2010.

The Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn

The Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn is one of the most prestigious such faculties in Germany, whose teaching is based on a strong track record of research in the individual theological disciplines. It trains future pastoral ministers and priests as well as religious education teachers for Gymnasien, Gesamtschulen and Berufsschulen. Its new bachelor’s degree programs also open up the broad spectrum of study options and potential career paths in the humanities. 

Ruth Jung
Dean’s Office in the Faculty of Catholic Theology
University of Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73-8145
Email: ruth.jung@uni-bonn.de

Nathalie Milio
Spokesperson for Bishop Dr. Johan Bonny
Diocese of Antwerp
Phone: +32 47928 16 43
Email: nathalie.milio@bisdomantwerpen.be

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