Catalan priest and Capuchin friar Joan Botam received the 2015 ICIP Peace in Progress Award at a ceremony that took place at the Parliament of Catalonia on April 12. Botam is a promoter of numerous initiatives linked to peace and ecumenism; he is one of the most important figures who introduced pacifism to Catalonia and a strong advocate of religion as a source of peace and dialogue.
Joan Botam (Les Borges Blanques, 1926) holds a doctorate in theology and is the founder of both the Víctor Seix Polemology Institute and the Ecumenical Center of Catalonia, of which he is currently president. His career linked to the pacifist movement begins in 1955, when he becomes chaplain of the religious movement Pax Christi. In 1963 he is elected vicar provincial of the Capuchins of Sarrià and, as such, he plays a key role in the events of the Caputxinada, the sit-in of students, intellectuals and artists in the Capuchin Convent in 1966. His intervention as vicar provincial was decisive in preventing the arrest of the demonstrators. More recently, Joan Botam represented Barcelona in the United Nations Millennium Summit of religious and spiritual leaders (2000) and was presented with the Creu de Sant Jordi Award (2010) for his contribution to interreligious dialogue and the promotion of peace, coexistence and understanding between cultures.