Brazilian cardinal receives degree from USEK

The metropolitan archbishop of São Paulo, Dom Odilo Scherer, is on a trip to the Arab country, where he will receive the honorary doctor degree from university in Lebaon.

Isaura Daniel

São Paulo – The metropolitan archbishop of São Paulo cardinal Dom Odilo Pedro Scherer will receive this Friday (8) the honorary doctor degree by the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon. The USEK president father professor Georges Hobeika will hand the degree. The president was in Brazil last year and met with Dom Odilo and the Maronite bishop Dom Edgar Madi.

USEK is a Catholic university founded by the Lebanese Maronite Order and teaches 8,000 students in four different campi. The honorary doctor degree is granted by universities to people who stand out at their areas of activity and are respected for their work, regardless of academic degrees. The Latin term honoris causa means “for the sake of honor.”

Dom Odilo Scherer is the great chancellor of Pontifical Catholic University (PUC, acronym in Portuguese) of São Paulo, which is a partner of the Lebanese university. The authority is also president of São Paulo Foundation, PUC-SP sponsor. He holds the position of archbishop in São Paulo since 2007 and was one of the religious authorities considered to become the Catholic Church pope after Benedict XVI. USEK has also a project in partnership with the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce to digitalize documents from the Arab immigration in Brazil.

Dom Odilo has a degree in philosophy and theology, a master’s in philosophy and a doctor degree in theology, according to information published in the Archdiocese of São Paulo’s website. Much of his experience as a religious authority was teaching and administering universities.

Before becoming an archbishop, he was an auxiliary bishop in São Paulo and secretary-general in the National Confederation of Bishops in Brazil (CNBB, acronym in Portuguese), among others leadership positions. Dom Odilo was a special envoy from the pope to world events such as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, where he was the head of the Holy See delegation.

The title will be granted to Dom Odilo in Lebanon at 11 am in the Auditorium of the USEK Faculty of Music in Jounieh. The event is open for the academic and diplomatic community, according to information from the USEK Latin American Studies and Cultures Center (CECAL, acronym in Portuguese) director Roberto Khatlab. The Brazilian ambassador in Lebanon Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto will be present, in addition to the Maronite patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai and other bishops.

Dom Odilo arrived in Lebanon this Tuesday (5) and will be in the country until Saturday (9), according to information published by the Archdiocese of São Paulo. This Wednesday he met with Maronite leaderships. During his trip, he will also visit a refugee camp, receive the degree in USEK, and participate in the Feast of St. Maron.

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

Gabriel Bouys/AFP

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