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Parliament of the World’s Religions bestows award named for Fr. Baima

August 16, 2023
Originally published by Chicago Catholic on August 16 by Phil Rockrohr

Daniel Gómez-Ibáñez, a former trustee, chair and executive director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, was presented the inaugural Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima Global Ethic Award at the 2023 parliament at McCormick Place on Aug. 14.

Gómez-Ibáñez was a longtime spiritual colleague of the award’s namesake,

Daniel Olsen, director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese of Chicago, received the award on behalf of Gómez-Ibáñez, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

“Today, as this award is offered, let us remember a master facilitator and consensus-builder, Father Tom Baima,” Olsen said. “Let us commit to doing our best to live up to his example, as did today’s worthy award recipient, Dr. Daniel Gómez-Ibáñez.”

Speaking from a recorded video, Gómez-Ibáñez said he was “surprised and honored” to receive the award, named in honor of “my good friend.” Gómez-Ibáñez worked with Baima, who died at the age of 69 in 2022, on preparing “Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration,” the Parliament’s signature document, for presentation to the world’s religious and spiritual leaders.

“We worked closely together in an effort that was always blessed by Tom’s incisive and persuasive logic,” he said. “I want to take this opportunity to say how much I and the world owe to Tom’s intellect, wisdom and tirelessness. I am grateful to have known him as a friend and a colleague.”

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