Joan Martínez Porcell was born on April 16, 1960 from a Christian family of seven children in Barcelona’s Eixample
. He studied primary school at Pía School (Diputació street) in Barcelona, and continued his secondary education – on night-time – at the Balmes Institute of the same city. During those difficult post Franco years, he was actively involved in several Christian movements and activities at the Immaculate Conception Parish of Barcelona, where he received the sacraments of the Christian initiation.
In September, 1977 he entered the Seminary of Toledo
, where he took his ecclesiastical studies to obtain the Bachelor of Theology from the Theology Faculty of Burgos on April 1, 1983. On July 10, 1983 he was ordered priest
by Cardinal Archbishop Marcelo González Martín at the Cathedral of this wonderful city. His first pastoral destination were two small villages in the heart of Villuercas, in Cáceres province: Castañar and Navalvivar de Ibor. Thus, the “Ibores” were the palce where he did his first steps as a priest. He combines his work as rural pastor with his Philosophy studies until, on September 26, 1986 he gets his University Degree in Philosophy and Educational Sciences at UNED
. From 1986 to 1988, after those intense years of rural pastoral activity, he studies a degree in Eclesiastical Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum)
in Rome, where he established a firm friendship with Abelardo Lobato, who will guide his approach to St. Thomas’ thought.
In September, 1988 he was appointed parochial vicar of St. Pius X Parish in Barcelona
, where Monsignor Carles Soler i Perdigó – Bishop Emeritus of Girona – was the rector. On June 15, 1989 he became diocesan counsellor of the female worship of Barcelona, combining an intense pastoral task with the preparation of his doctoral thesis under Dr. Eudald Forment’s guidance, professor of Metaphysics at the University of Barcelona. Very close to the “Thomistic school of Barcelona
”, and on April 27, 1992 he obtained his Doctorate in Philisophy “Cum Laude”
with a thesis on “the ontological incommunicability of the human person”, later published under the title “Metafísica de la persona”.
On June 19, 1992 he was appointed Rector of the Parish of St. Esteve de la Garriga,
and on September 5, 1994 Rector of the Parish of Sant Pere de Bigues
. Later – 1999 – he was also named Archpriest of Puiggraciós
and for ten years que focused on his pastoral work in the Vallès area. On October 30, 2001 he was appointed Episcopal Vicar of the Vallès province
by Cardinal Archbishop Carlos María Ricart, where he will work until the creation of the new dioceses of the Archdiocese of Barcelona. For a short period, he lived in the Parish of St. Pere de Rubí in the heart of this episcopal demarcation, occupying several pastoral positions: member of the presbyteral council
of Barcelona since March 14, 2001 and patron of the Foundation of parochial schools
of Barcelona since July 12, 2002.
On October 25, 2002 he was named affiliated to the Parish of Sta. Agnès in Barcelona
where he has lived until the present day. Since 1992 he has been part of the teaching staff of the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy of Catalonia
, first as a guest teacher, subject attendant and itinerant professor. He had great admiration and esteem for his colleague Josep M. Coll, sharing searches and concerns, and on April 28, 2004 he was named Vice-Dean of the Faculty
, a position that he retained for three years. During this period he still combines his partoral work with teaching at the Faculty of Philosophy of Catalonia, where he will be named ordinary professor
after obtaining the “nihil obstat” from the Roman Congregation for Catholic Education on January 9, 2003. He is also professor at the Ramon Llull University
since February 17, 2007.
In 2003 he studied Islamology at the IDEO – Institut dominicain d’études orientals
– in Cairo, and participates in the GRIC – Groupes de recherches islamo-chrètiens
– where he focuses his philosophical investigations on the relationship between faith and reason in both Christianism and Islam. On September 1, 2004 he was named rector of the parishes of Santa Maria de Cardedeu and Sant Muç de Cànoves
from the recently founded diocese of Terrassa, and on September 1, 2005 he became affiliated of Sant Pere Octavià in Sant Cugat and rector of Sant Joan de Mirasol
. He actively participates in the first steps of the diocese of Terrassa, being named member of its presbyteral council on April 20, 2005 and episcopal delegate of education
since April 19, 2005.
On January 13, 2005 he was named Dean-President of the Faculty of Philosophy of Catalonia
by Cardinal Lluis M. Sistach, position that he will exercise for two mandates, until February, 2012. During the 2008-2009 academic year he taught several monographic courses about the ontology of the person at the University of St. Thomas in Rome, where he was appointed as guest professor
on May 2, 2008. On January 16, 2008 Antonio Cañizares, Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, grants excardination letters and on February 12, 2008 he is incardinated in the Diocese of Barcelona, named affiliated to the Parish of Sta. Agnès in Barcelona
and dedicated to the Faculty of Philosophy of Catalonia.
His teaching activity during the past twenty years has been primarily focused on Metaphysics, subject in which he is ordinary professor, although he also regularly teaches in-depth questions of Metaphysics, Theory of Knowledge and Philosophy of Language
as well as several optional subjects about J.B. Lotz’s thought or the introduction to M. Heidegger’s works. He has been coordinator of several doctoral programs and was also co-director of the research group “Pensar per conviure”
, an islamic-christian dialogue. His main lines of research and study have been primarily about the understanding of the finite being and its active constitution.
He has directed numerous doctoral thesis and several DEA and Master tribunals. He is the author of “Metafísica de la persona” (PPU, Barcelona. 1992; 2nd edition: Balmes, Barcelona. 2009); “Ésser i Persona” (PPU, Barcelona. 1995); “Dios, Persona y Conocimiento” (Balmes, Barcelona. 2009). Director of the collection “Pensar per Conviure” of the Faculty of Philosophy. He has published three volumes about the islamic-christian dialogue (“Aportacions al Pensament en diàleg a la llum de la Revelació”; “La mística cristiana i musulmana com a lloc d’encontre”; i “La evangelització i el Dawa”). He has also published a few textbooks like “Lectura de textos” (2nd edition: MRR, Barcelona. 2013) and “Metafísica” (Balmes, Barcelona. 2012).
He has written several specialized articles
in philosophy journals and various speeches and presentations for international conventions. During the last two years he has combined his pastoral work – specially dedicated to family ministry
, spiritual guidance and youth ministry – with a new series of publications particularly sensitive to the challenges of the new evangelization, showing special care for the poetic word and the image (“Imatges I Paraules”, Autoprint, Barcelona. 2013; “Poema del teu Nadal”, Llengua Nacional, Barcelona. 2013; “Llengua de foc”, Llengua Nacional, Barcelona. 2014).
On September 2, 2014 he was appointed pastor of the Basilica of the Virgin of La Merce
i de Sant Miquel Archangel, of Barcelona.