Mission, vision and values
The Pedro Arrupe Human Rights Institute at the University of Deusto is an independent non-profit academic organisation that works to promote human rights through research, education, awareness-raising and social intervention.
The Institute aims to be a benchmark organisation in promoting human rights on the Spanish and international scene:
- willingness to network with organisations that pursue the same objectives in the international scope
- formed by a team that identifies with the values they promote
- equipped with a structure that strengthens its members' professional development
- Social justice
- Team spirit
Pedro Arrupe was born in Bilbao in 1907. He studied medicine in Valladolid and Madrid, where he received distinction in Anatomy and Therapeutics. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1927 and was ordained a priest in 1936, after having studied Philosophy and Psychiatry.
He finished his education at Saint Louis University (USA) and was sent to Japan in 1938. As rector of the Yamaguchi novitiate, near Hiroshima, he was an eye witness to the atomic bomb dropped on 6 August 1945. The novitiate was converted into a hospital and his knowledge of medicine saved the lives of hundreds of people. Years later, he recalled this experience in an impact book («Yo viví la bomba atómica») and explained the details of nuclear radiation on four world tours he made between 1950 and 1962. He was especially devoted to work with refugees and founded the Jesuit Refugee Service.
Named first provincial in Japan in 1958, he was elected Superior General of the Society by a wide majority six years later. The time he held this position was distinctive for a clear renewal of the Jesuits' mission in today's world. As of that time, social justice would be one of the Society's key objectives.
He submitted his resignation on 18 April 1980. However, it was turned down by the Pope. Events accelerated in 1981 when he suffered a cerebral thrombosis from which he never fully recovered. The Dutchman Peter-Hans Kolvenbach took over leadership of the Society in 1983. Arrupe died in Rome on 5 February 1991.
Acknowledgement of this universal figure from Bilbao and his well known history of fighting for justice and human rights resulted in the Institute being named after him.