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Back to 2020-04-03-Opinión-TEO-Antonio García Moreno

Santiago Ausín, Professor Emeritus of the School of Theology of the University of Navarra.

Antonio García Moreno: a simple and faithful teacher and priest

Fri, 03 Apr 2020 11:07:00 +0000

On March 23, 2020, the professor and biblical scholar Antonio García Moreno passed away in Pamplona. He was 87 years old and had been living in the capital of Navarra for the last four years.

Almendralejo, capital of Tierra de Barros, in the middle of Extremadura's Ruta de la Plata was the place where he was born on September 10, 1932. Antonio was what was then called a "late vocation" as he entered the seminar in Badajoz in 1954, when he was already 22 years old. At the time, I was studying at the programs of study of Law at the University of Seville where he obtained the licentiate degree in 1957.

He soon moved to Rome, which would be one of the places to which he always returned with enthusiasm. There he studied the ecclesiastical programs of study followed by his ordination to the priesthood in Badajoz on March 19, 1961. In Rome he continued with the programs of study of licentiate degree in Sacred Scripture by the Pontifical Biblical high school and doctorate in Biblical Theology, at the Gregorian University.

Returning to his diocese of Badajoz (now Mérida-Badajoz), he began his teaching in the seminar Diocesan as a professor of New Testament and other subjects related to the Sacred Scripture. In 1978 he won for civil service examination the Lectoral Canonry of the Holy Cathedral Church. A good issue The priests of Badajoz have been his pupils and have received, together with biblical knowledge, the simple and profound testimony of a thorough priest. In addition, he directed them to great issue of retreats and talks training, which showed his priestly verve.

Professor García Moreno was a restless man who knew how to discover opportunities that would allow him to render a better service to the Church. Shortly after the School Professor of Theology at the University of Navarra, Antonio accepted, with the permission of his bishop, Monsignor Doroteo Fernández - later renewed by his successor, Bishop Antonio Montero - the invitation to join the faculty of the University of Navarra. School, albeit partially (half of each course) in order to be able to attend to his obligations as a teacher at the same time. seminar of Badajoz and as a lectoral canon.

In Rome he came to know Opus Dei, and asked for Admissions Office in the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross. There he met St. Josemaría, and also Blessed Álvaro del Portillo. From that attention he kept a multitude of memories that he shared with others in a simple and joyful way. He returned to Rome many times, especially after 1990 when he began to form part of group of researchers of the Spanish National Church of Santiago and Montserrat. Moreover, almost from the beginning of what would later become the Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Prof. Garcia Moreno collaborated with the biblical teaching as Adjunct Professor.

Badajoz, Rome, Pamplona... and Jerusalem. The Holy City has been a point of reference letter in the academic and pastoral work of Antonio García Moreno. He organized and attended numerous pilgrimages and boasted of knowing the country of Jesus inch by inch; in his publications, especially in the many commentaries to the liturgical texts, he showed the geographical knowledge of Palestine and the customs of the time of Jesus. He repeated forcefully that the land of Jesus was like the fifth gospel.

His work in Pamplona has been the source of the intellectual development of Professor García Moreno. After his appointment as professor of New Testament Exegesis in 1971 at the School of Theology, he worked intensely on all the projects of the department of Sacred Scripture, first writing several Bible-related articles for the Gran Enciclopedia Rialp and shortly afterwards on the translation and commentary of the Holy Bible, one of the projects initiated and promoted by St. Josemaría. He has also been a prolific writer, with works for research and especially with writings of high quality knowledge dissemination. Among the former, we can highlight, among others, La Neovulgata. Precedents and actuality (1986), Introduction to the Mystery. Gospel of St. John (1997), The Fourth Gospel. Theological Aspects (1997) and Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews. programs of study of Johannine Christology (2001). His writings to spread the knowledge of the Sacred Scripture include many commentaries to the liturgical texts of Sundays in different media ("Palabra", the newspaper "Hoy" of Badajoz, "Betania", etc.).

There are three aspects of Antonio's temperament and life that are worth mentioning: his sobriety, his industriousness and his simplicity. Many times on the walks we used to take to the countryside he would surprise us with a bottle of orange juice and some dried fruit. With this, he used to say, it was enough for me to walk for as long as it took; we went out to walk, not to eat. In his room in Pamplona, as in his house as a canon in Badajoz, he had enough and nothing more. Sometimes we joked with him because he did have an "excess": he was very fond of cowboy movies.

Professor García Moreno has been a tireless worker, and it is only because of this dedication to work that one can understand the rhythm of publications that he maintained during his mature years. He also found time, however, for two things: while it was possible, to play a few games of chess with his friend Professor Lucas Francisco Mateo Seco, and for the friendly conversation in which he showed his simple, humble and affectionate nature. He was not a friend of tributes and recognitions, although he has deserved them and in so many places they have been made to him. Perhaps this kind and simple character has been the reason why everyone appreciated him.

D. Antonio has left us discreetly, as was his way of being. We are left with his scientific and pastoral bequest and the example of a simple and faithful priest, a priest, in the words of St. Josemaría, "one hundred percent priest".