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Jozef Zycinski, Archbishop of Lublin, Templeton Prize judge, dies at 62

Jozef Zycinski, philosopher, theologian, Archbishop of Lublin, Poland, a Templeton Prize judge from 2003 to 2005 and former advisor to the John Templeton Foundation, died February 10 in Rome. He was 62.

Zycinski served as the Archbishop of Lublin since 1997 and was grand chancellor of the Catholic University of Lublin where he was a professor of philosophy. A leading intellectual presence in the Polish Catholic Church, he was a major participant in Polish public debate.

As reported by Polskie Radio, Lublin is a key see in the Polish Catholic Church and the Catholic University of Lublin enjoys hard-won prestige, having endured as a beacon of comparatively free learning in the communist years.

Zycinski was a contributor to leading progressive journals such as Znak and Tygodnik Powszechny, and wrote for the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza. He was seen as a voice of constructive dialogue that engaged fearlessly with hardest contemporary issues.

“He was a face of the Polish Church,” reflected Father Adam Boniecki, editor-in-chief of Tygodnik Powszechny. “Listening to him, many people breathed a sigh of relief that one can think in this way.”

Zycinski was the author of more than 30 books and 350 papers published in nine languages on topics related to philosophy of science, relativistic cosmology and the history of the relationship between natural sciences and Christian faith. He was a member of the philosophical committee of the Polish Academy of Science, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the European Academy of Science and Art in Salzburg and the Russian Academy of the Natural Sciences, and held doctorates in philosophy, theology and the philosophy of science.