The Mission of the Foundation
European culture grew on foundations of Greek philosophy and Christianity. One of the most important values that has shaped it for centuries is the love of the truth. The relentless desire to learn the truth has organized personal, religious and social life of our continent.
Convinced that striving for the truth is an inherent part of human nature, we would like the activities of the Foundation to assist us in better cognition and to allow us to distinguish between what is a fact and what is only an opinion (doksa) – what is not the truth, but its charming appearance.
This demands that we adopt an attitude of respect and tolerance when meeting another person, which does not resemble, however, its unpleasant caricature – an attitude of axiological indifference, cynicism and nihilism disguised as neutrality.
Therefore we believe our aim is to show the beauty and simplicity of the truth. The truth which is not a rationalized, dry and theoretical formula, but, as observed by John Paul II in his homily delivered at the canonization of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in 1998 – it is the truth internally intertwined with love. Who seeks the truth, also seeks love, who despises the truth, not only risks living in lies, but also in hatred. These two attitudes build two different civilizations: civilization of life and civilization of death.
Edith Stein was the witness of this radical search for the truth. Born in a traditional Jewish family, at the age of 14 – shocking her nearest and dearest – she abandoned Judaism and became an atheist. As she claimed, the search for the truth was her only prayer at that time. This explains her intense activity in science and cooperation with such outstanding philosophers as Edmund Husserl or Max Scheler. However, the philosophy route could not satisfy her hunger for cognition, which was manifested in her spiritual crisis. It was only her encounter with Christianity and her conversion that allowed her to make her dream come true and find the truth – personal Truth – Jesus Christ. Her invincible attitude and embracement of the newly found truth led to her admission to the Discalced Carmelite monastery, where she adopted the name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. As she stated, her conversion to Christianity did not erase her Jewish origin, but fully revealed it. Therefore she bravely opposed the brutal machinery of the totalitarian state, sacrificing her life for the conversion of her fellow citizens. She died as a martyr in Auschwitz II – Birkenau concentration camp, testifying for the truth and love. Her death was a clash of the civilization of death, which despises both humans and what arises from humanity, namely the truth and love, with the civilization of life.
And even though the Nazi and communist totalitarianism have long gone in Europe, it is always worth remembering the words of John Paul II, who said that democracy without values can easily transform into open or hidden totalitarianism.
And it is these values that we want to defend – revealing what is hidden.