Archbishop Alfons Nossol

Posted in Champions | 12-Feb-13

The bischop from Oppeln/Opole in Upper Silesia in Poland has for more than 30 years been living proof of the fact that peace between formerly hostile countries is indeed possible and needs a deep approach of long, healing reconciliation.

Alfons Nossol is the reconciliator between the German and the Polish people, between millions of German who had to flee in 1945 from their home in Silesia to the West, the remaining and for a long time supressed nearly one million ethnic Germans in Poland, and the proud Polish majority.

Cardinal Wojtyla and later Pope John Paul II became his friend when both were professors at the Polish Catholic university of Lublin.

Although the Pope would have liked archbishop Nossol to join him in the Vatican as a cardinal, he chose to remain in the small university city of Opole as a bishop and professor. In the vatican he works in the Papal committee for the Interdenominational Dialogue.

He has published 14 books and was awarded the St. Ulrich Prize in 1993, the Augsburg Peace Prize in 1997 and the Cultural Award of the German state of Lower Saxony in 2001.

His unique knowledge of Christianity, the moral wounds of two totalitarian and inhuman dictatorships, his own experience of expulsion and of the history and many resentments of two former arch-enemies made him a champion of the high art of reconciliation, respect and tolerance.

Read his thoughts here in: