Tag Archives: Interviste

Scola: «Dalla Chiesa copta noi cristiani europei abbiamo da imparare»

Mercoledì 3 maggio, l’Arcivescovo di Milano, cardinale Angelo Scola, ha incontrato Sua Santità Tawadros II, 118° Papa dei copti., intervenuto all’incontro di riflessione e preghiera che al Centro pastorale, che ha riunito vescovi e sacerdoti della sua Chiesa provenienti da tutta Europa. Il saluto dell’Arcivescovo e un’intervista a margine dell’evento


«L’Europa a lungo passiva, ora costruisca con pazienza»

L’Arcivescovo: «Abbiamo tutti la percezione che un’epoca è finita. Ma ora che succederà?» Dopo avere introdotto la prima serata dei “Dialoghi di vita buona” il cardinale Angelo Scola ha rilasciato un’intervista: «Il momento è decisamente critico. Dobbiamo comprendere i grandi mutamenti epocali che stiamo vivendo e governarli con intelligenza».

Ecco l’intervista all’Arcivescovo di Milano

“A scholar and pastor: Cardinal Angelo Scola”. Un’intervista da “Inside the Vatican”

Viene qui riproposta un’intervista al cardinal Scola pubblicata dal mensile cattolico “Inside the Vatican” sul numero di giugno-luglio.

A scholar and pastor, Cardinal Angelo Scola, has been a close friend of Pope Benedict XVI for over four decades, and is considered by many in Rome as the Italian frontrunner to succeed the German Pope, were a conclave to be held in the future. 

This intellectual son of a Socialist truck driver and a Catholic mother, he was for many years an active member of the Communion and Liberation Movement which he credits with fostering his vocation to the priesthood. 

A brilliant student, he gained doctorates in philosophy from the Catholic University of Milan and in theology from Fribourg University, Switzerland, where he also taught. Appointed by John Paul II as Rector of the Lateran University in 1995, he is credited with raising its academic standing during his six years’ tenure there. 

In the early 1970s, he collaborated with Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Jean Danielou and Joseph Ratzinger in the prestigious international Catholic journal “Communio”, of which he was editor for many years.  A polyglot and author of many books and countless articles, he is  considered the foremost intellectual in the Italian hierarchy. 

With 14 years of pastoral experience in governing two dioceses, this original, creative pastor and thinker is also a man of dialogue. As Patriarch of Venice he has worked hard to build bridges to the Orthodox Churches and the Muslim world, in the latter case by launching the Oasis project in 2004.  This highly articulate religious leader has often spoken out fearlessly in defense of fundamental human rights, the Church, the family and moral values. 

The following is part of a longer interview he granted to Gerard O’Connell at the Patriarchate in Venice, earlier this year.


Q. What do you see as some of the main challenges facing the Church today? 

A. I think the principal challenge, which the Church shares with every other social subject in the field, is the interpretation of the post-modern. To me the question is: have we, or have we not entered the post-modern world?  

Certainly the collapse of the Berlin Wall has marked a rather radical mutation that can be seen in certain macroscopic phenomena. 

Indeed what is happening today in the Maghreb, in the Middle East, is like a second phase of what happened in 1989. There is obviously a strong desire for freedom on the part of peoples on the world stage, and that comes with an urgent demand for real participation.  

This has complicated even more that which I call the process of the mixing (mestizaje) of civilizations and cultures; that is, a process of movement and displacement of peoples which will become even more radical in the coming decades. All this has made it more urgent for us in Europe to gain a deeper knowledge of Islam. 

Then there is the question of the powerful, rapid progress of techno-sciences, especially in bio-engineering, cloning, bio-convergence, informatics, biology, molecular physics, neuroscience, the civilization of the social networks and so on.  

All these phenomena are producing a different kind of man and so the challenge for the Church is the same as for all humanity: what kind of man does the man of the 3rd millennium wish to be?


Q What is your own view on this? 

A.  Some ten years ago when I was in Munich, I bought a copy of Die Welt and there was an entire page written by a young German philosopher of science named De Jong under the banner headline: “Man is only his own experiment!”  

It is clear that we are faced here with a framework that is radically different from that which prevailed up to the 1980s, and it seems to me that the Church, in this context, has to insist on the fact that the ‘I’ does not exist without relations. This is the point. Because it is from the ‘I’-in-relation that the dynamism of the truth, the good and the beautiful is documented within the human family and, in my view, this fact is irrepressible. 

We must question ourselves a lot about the meaning of birth. In the history of mankind birth has meant, and will continue to represent a fact which is for me overarching: ‘it is impossible to self-procreate and it will be so always’.  Even if in 100 years I can clone myself automatically, the clone that I produce will be other than me, and it will not be generated from itself.  

Therefore, the challenges are at the anthropological, social, cosmological and ecological levels, and they are the challenges of humanity. Since the Church of Christ is the presence of a God who became incarnate, who has engaged, and continues to be involved with humankind, it has to respond to these challenges of humanity.

In this sense, I think that we must value with much realism all the positive things that emerge from these major shifts and discoveries, while accepting the elements of contradiction that are found in every passage of civilization. 


Q. Is the Church facing this problem in an adequate way? 

A. The problem in itself is a common one: who is this man of the Third Millennium? Certainly today there is the risk of the domination of an individualistic identity. In the example where ‘Man is only his own experiment’ this identity is sensational. 

The risk is that man thinks of himself as freed from every bond, and so as ‘a self-made man’.  This nullifies the exchange between the generations, it nullifies education in the proper sense of the term, and leads to many phenomena that we see in the anthropological transformations and ways of understanding sexuality, love, parenthood, work, and so on. 

It seems to me that in this context the mission of the Church is more relevant than ever.  Indeed, I believe that the Christian proposal is particularly relevant now, because if we read the Gospel we see it revolves around the theme of happiness and freedom:  Jesus said, if you wish to be happy, come and follow me, and he who follows me will be truly free. It inserts the dynamic of truth, good and beauty within the horizon of happiness and freedom.

So when the Christian proposal is freed – above all in Europe and in the northern hemisphere – from the many things that weigh it down, because of the contradictions and sins of the men and women of the Church, and is re-proposed in its youthful simplicity as an encounter with a humanity made whole by Christ, then it is more relevant than ever.


Q. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Church as it faces these challenges? 

A.  They are those which Benedict XVI has formulated at the beginning of his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (‘God is Love’), namely, that the nature of Christianity is a personal encounter with Christ in the Christian community. We see this clearly in those people who have encountered Christ and witness to the beauty of a humanity that has succeeded. 

The weakness is the continuing existence of that which Paul VI denounced: the dualism between faith and life.  This is evident when one does not experience how the relation with Christ impacts on one’s daily life, including one’s affective and work life, or how Church life is relevant to all this, and so one tends to conclude that the practice of the Christian life is useless, and one tends to put it aside. 

The paramount task of the Church – which the Pope has understood well by deciding to create a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization – is to announce Christ in all the settings of human existence and to simplify the life of the Christian community in the parishes and dioceses so that they may be better suited to people today, especially to the young, to the people who have a family and work. 

It’s a substantial problem to regain the link between faith and life, to understand how the faith is relevant to my life. This requires the way of relations; it cannot be done by oneself alone, it requires a living community of people who can communicate their experience. 


Q You have visited many Churches in the southern hemisphere and you have described them as “beacons of hope”.  Why? 

A. These are Churches of the first evangelization, and they maintain a vitality and freshness in which the primacy of life renewed by Christ is palpable. 

Then, too, one sees a spirit of joyfulness in all the African churches, where the liturgy is often positively incarnated, and where the depth of fraternal relations in Christ is tangible, notwithstanding the problems and contradictions that all people have. It is particularly striking to see how the experience of the mystery is an experience of joy.

I have seen this many times in Africa, I have seen it in Asia, in the Philippines, in Brazil and other parts of Latin America, although these situations are quite different. 

So I consider these Churches as signs of hope because I think they can rejuvenate the entire fabric of the Catholic Church. But it remains to be seen how the themes we have spoken about earlier will impact on them.


Q.  Many of these Churches face the problem of how to relate to other religions, often being minority Churches.  You have given much attention to this matter. Do you think the Church today has grasped this problem well? 

A.   The Catholic Church, in my view, particularly since the Second Vatican Council and also because it has given a very high importance to the practice of ecumenism, is facing the question of inter-religious dialogue with great realism. But it takes time to find a proper balance. 

I recall an affirmation of the then Cardinal Ratzinger which was more or less this: inter-religious dialogue is an intrinsic experience of the Christian Church, it is not something contingent, imposed from outside. It is not imposed by the fact that today we have 15 million Muslims in Europe, though this makes it more urgent for us to engage in inter-religious dialogue.  

The need for dialogue is intrinsic to the Christian experience. This is so because the Christian experience is an encounter with the Risen Christ that arouses faith, but faith in a human being who tends by his very nature to religion. Man expresses himself in rites, in worship, in tradition. So already within the Christian faith one has this continuous relationship between faith and religion, by which faith is taken by religion and religion must be taken and purified by faith. 

In this sense I do not agree with Karl Barth’s thesis that Christianity is only faith and not religion, because every faith tends to be a faith of the people and so tends to become a religion.  Therefore my faith as a Christian has to come to terms with religion.  

A crucial dimension of Religion is Tradition (with a capital ‘T’), which for me is expressed especially in the Eucharist illuminated by the Word of God, authentically interpreted by the Church’s teaching authority (Magisterium), on which contingent traditions have been, and still are, inserted, but which can be modified.


Q.  You are referring to popular religion? 

A.  Yes. Popular religion takes many forms. So this attitude, by which my Christian faith encounters the religious expressions of Christianity, helps me also relate to religious expressions of a different kind – Muslim, Hindu and so on. 

An effective dialogue requires that I engage my faith in a dynamic way. It implies an identity, but a dynamic identity, and so we return to what we spoke about earlier: what is Christianity?  

The event of Christ, by which he gives himself as a gift to mankind to be the way, the truth and the life, is open to dialogue at 360 degrees. But if I reduce Christianity to a question of doctrine only, then I reduce it to a dialogue of a purely speculative kind. 

Certainly, Christianity implies a doctrine and moral teaching, but they are incarnated in the life of a person and in the life of a community.  Therefore, if I practice the Christian life for what it is – ‘the good life’ which the Gospel documents and witnesses to – then I can go and dialogue with everyone. 

It’s sufficient to go to India where there are many mixed marriages between Hindus and Christians and there one sees how people practice inter-religious dialogue in daily life, for example, in the way husband and wife love each other, or in the way they educate their children. 

On the other hand, it is also necessary to have reflection of a theological and cultural kind such as is happening, indeed flourishing, in many places today. One example of this is the small Oasis experience that we started here in Venice which is dedicated above all to the reciprocal knowledge.  

The first step in dialogue is knowledge, getting to know the other.  This is fundamental because, as it is evident today, if one asks an Italian or European Catholic “what is Islam?”, more than 90% would not know how to answer. I’m sure the same would be true vice versa for Muslims, if we question them about Christianity. 

It seems to me that, generally speaking, as Christians we are well on the way in terms of inter-religious dialogue, but it is an epochal question and requires a lot of time.


Q. From your experience with the Oasis project, could you describe one inter-religious experience that really encouraged you and one which depressed you? 

A. The things that give encouragement are small things, but they offer the chance to value, to appreciate ‘the Islam of the people’.  

We at Oasis do not like the expression ‘moderate Islam’, because often ‘moderate Islam’ is identified with one or other isolated Muslim intellectual who has his own ideas which, generally speaking, do not have much influence on the people. Nevertheless, this relationship with ‘moderate’ Muslim philosophers or thinkers is important, and should not be neglected.  

At Oasis, on the other hand, we have begun to encounter here and there some experiences of what I call ‘the Islam of the people’, which are very beautiful. 

One such experience of “Islam of the people” is in Jordan. It’s known that a very high percentage of the Jordanian people are disabled in various ways, some 10% of the population, because of problems related to tribal intermarriages.  So an association was founded here to assist these people. It is composed of Muslims and Christians and involves hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country, with a series of truly impressive houses and activities to respond to this great need for assistance. They work stupendously well together.  There are very beautiful places for reflection too.  That is a sign of the ‘Islam of the people’ which we at Oasis greatly appreciate; it is a real sign of hope. 

Another very beautiful experience was in Kosovo, where the Christian minority – in Pristina and Pec – set up places of encounter, ‘upper rooms’, for the overcoming of hate. Families whose sons were killed came together with other families in a similar situation. The Christians started this experience and involved the Muslims too in a very fine way. 

In this same region of Pec, I myself met the city’s Muslim leaders who had just decided to rebuild a Catholic church that had been destroyed in a village during the war.  

These positive signs of dialogue are silently multiplying, and are taking up again the great tradition of the Christian missionaries in that context. They have always worked and respected everyone, especially through the schools and hospitals they established, where they’ve accepted everybody without discrimination. 

I consider these experiences as some of the most positive elements on which we must insist in inter-religious dialogue.


Q. Small is beautiful! 

A. I hope that this spreads ever more because I see that when people are not manipulated they want this kind of thing. 

But the most delicate element perhaps, which one sees in the crisis that has exploded in the Maghreb and throughout the Middle East, is that it is necessary to foster an evolution in Islam so as to arrive at a distinction between the religious dimension and the civil dimension. 

We know the regimes in the Middle East were modeled on a certain juridical and institutional structure of a Western brand, but this was then used by monarchies or oligarchies for their own interests. Now we have to wait and see whether the spaces that are being freed up can allow this evolution. 

From this point of view, we in Europe have a great responsibility today. When we started the Oasis Project six or seven years ago, I was somewhat skeptical of talking about an Italian Islam, a French Islam, an European Islam. But then, in some of the scientific committees of our project, we have seen that in France something of this kind is actually emerging, and we now understand that Europe can become a laboratory through which the dialogue with Islam can foster a reciprocal evolution. 

Certainly the Church has much to say here, as all civil society has. The Church can make itself felt especially by welcoming Muslims and opening spaces for dialogue. 

In the north of Italy, for example, Church structures linked to parishes are regularly frequented by many Muslims, and, in the same way, Catholic and Muslim children get to know each other in the Church schools.  

In my view, the evolution and overcoming of an imprecise conception of multiculturalism, both in the English and French versions, appears to be a significant fact today. Europe is therefore a laboratory for the future in which this difficulty of Islam – which degenerates into fundamentalism and terrorism when it is not well interpreted – is overcome. This gives hope.


Q. Speaking of Islam, do you think the negative effect of Pope Benedict’s Regensburg lecture has been overcome? 

A. As you know, that was followed by the famous manifesto of 138 Muslims, who signed a common letter to the Pope and other Christian leaders. Then there was the visit of the King of Saudi Arabia, which has been greatly underestimated, but was, in fact, quite significant.


Q. This is true, but when I visited Jordan, Palestine and Turkey, I discovered that whereas the leaders and intellectuals in these countries have accepted or adjusted to what the Pope said, the same is not true of ordinary people, of the man on the Muslim street.  There one finds a lack of trust in the Pope. I know the same is true in many majority Muslim states in Asia. Is that your experience too? 

A.  I think that, certainly, the misunderstandings at the level of the people are still very strong, because the fundamentalist element has extraordinary means of propaganda today. 

Here the remedy is patient education, an educational enterprise which should be lived also as an enterprise in which all the subjects in the field are involved. In this sense, the great Christian tradition of schools and hospitals remain for me the high road also to overcome this obstacle. 

We have tried to approach this by setting up scientific committees as part of the Oasis project. We did so in Venice, Cairo, Amman and Beirut, and now we’d like to have one in Damascus. There are difficulties, so we have to wait and see. 

One has to have the courage to maintain the wholeness of the Christian vision, because one can see that the problems are never separated. If we do not regenerate the Christian people here in Europe, all these questions will become great objections, because if there is no subject, there is no premise to frame any dialogue. 


Q.  Earlier you spoke about how you were impressed by the vitality of the Churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America, but what do you say to the fact that in the central government of the Church – in the College of Cardinals, in the Roman Curia – we see few people from these regions?  

A.  Well, there are some. But it seems to me that the process of the internationalization of the truly Catholic nature of the College of Cardinals, of the bishops and of the Roman Curia, is an unstoppable process; it is irreversible. 

It can be somewhat slow, but from Paul VI onwards, it is being accentuated. I believe, however, that this is very much linked to contingent factors, because in the Church one proceeds by a living communion. One does not proceed through the options of automatic democratic representations: so many Catholics in the South of the globe, therefore so many cardinals. 

The logic of numbers alone is not sufficient; one must balance it by the effective experiences of what the government of the Church is. Indeed, the Synod of bishops, with consultative power, has great weight and this should not be underestimated. 

Moreover, as the election of the last two popes clearly showed, there no longer exists the problem of the automatic choice of an Italian pope.  I think for the government of the Church all the doors are open.


Q. You say that the automatic choice of an Italian pope has been overcome, yet in Rome many people –in the Vatican and outside – are saying that after the Polish and German popes, and all the crises of this pontificate, we need an Italian pope once again to put order back in the Church. 

A   Well, we’ll see.  First of all, the Holy Father is very well and is doing his task in a formidable way, giving us a teaching of the highest level that is arousing enormous and impassioned dialogue throughout the whole world. 

In the second place, he is renewing the pastoral work of the Church through rooting it in the liturgy and the sacraments. 

Then, again, he is a pope who is portraying the profound nature of Christianity as an event and he is giving the lead here, he is testifying to this. 

I do not at all agree with those who say that this is a papacy which has generated crises.  There have been moments when he has had to take on his own shoulders great problems of men of the Church, and he did so by taking the lead, without ever pulling back. 


Q.  When one enters the Patriarch’s curial office here in Venice, and one sees these large portraits of your predecessors who became popes in the 20th century – Pius X, John XXIII, John Paul I – one cannot help but think, maybe… 

A.  I believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church, makes use of everything, also the poverty of men, intervenes and makes his choice.


Q. Well, in Ireland they even place bets on who will be the next pope! 

(Big laughs all round…) 

Il Papa a Nordest. Un’intervista dal quotidiano tedesco “Die Tagespost”

Viene qui di seguito proposta un’intervista al Patriarca – in occasione dell’imminente Visita del Santo Padre ad Aquileia e Venezia – pubblicata venerdì 6 maggio da “Die Tagespost”, quotidiano tedesco (cliccare qui per leggere una traduzione sommaria dell’intervista):
Ein Gespräch mit Kardinal Angelo Scola über den Besuch Papst Benedikts XVI. in Aquileia und Venedig an diesem Wochenende. Von Guido Horst

Heute und morgen besucht Benedikt XVI. eine der Wiegen des Christentums in Mitteleuropa. Zwei Tage nimmt sich der Papst Zeit für die Gläubigen im Nordosten Italiens; das altehrwürdige Aquileia und die Lagunenstadt Venedig sind die beiden Stationen der Reise. Gegenüber dieser Zeitung erklärt der Patriarch von Venedig, Kardinal Angelo Scola, warum diese Region nach dem Fall des Eisernen Vorhangs wieder zu einem Angelpunkt Europas geworden ist – und welche Impulse er sich von den Begegnungen mit Papst Benedikt erwartet. Vor seiner Zeit als Patriarch von Venedig war Scola Bischof von Grosseto und dann Rektor der Päpstlichen Lateranuniversität. Als Mitarbeiter der Glaubenskongregation und der internationalen Zeitschrift „Communio“ hatte er schon früh einen engen Kontakt zu Kurienkardinal Joseph Ratzinger.


Eminenz, wie viele Besucher erwarten Sie, wenn Papst Benedikt XVI. jetzt am 7. und 8. April den Nordosten Italiens besucht?

Was mich sehr berührt ist das Interesse für den Besuch des Papstes, das verschiedene Bereiche und Sektoren der Gesellschaft ergriffen hat. Nicht nur die Ortskirchen des Nordostens Italiens und ihre Gläubigen, sondern auch viele Personen, die seit langer Zeit nicht mehr praktizieren, also auch die säkulare Gesellschaft. Mit allen zivilen Einrichtungen haben wir dabei zu einer ausgezeichneten Zusammenarbeit gefunden. Man muss unterscheiden zwischen den einzelnen Programmpunkten des Papstes. Es gibt die Begegnungen in einem kleineren, geschlossenen Kreis, dann die pastorale Großveranstaltung mit den Gläubigen der Diözesen des Nordostens in der Basilika von Aquileia sowie den Abschluss des Pastoralbesuchs im Marcus-Dom in Venedig. Letzteres sind Augenblicke der Begegnung mit dem Volk – in Aquilea, auf der Piazza San Marco in Venedig und dann vor allem bei der großen Messe im San Giuliano-Park in Mestre. Dazu erwarten wir etwa hunderttausend Personen, einige gehen aber davon aus, dass es sehr viel mehr sein werden.

Das Motto des Papstbesuchs in Venedig und Aquileia lautet: „Tu conferma la nostra fede – Du, bestärke unseren Glauben”. Warum?

Diese Worte haben alle ihre Wurzeln im Evangelium. Sie schienen uns den Wert und die Bedeutung des Kommens des Papstes gut zusammenzufassen. Jesus selbst hat Petrus den Auftrag gegeben, seine Brüder zu stärken. Die Leitung der Kirche durch sein Zeugnis, durch seine Person, seine Führung und seine Verkündigung, das alles charakterisiert den Petrusdienst des Papstes. Wir müssen wieder entdecken, dass Petrus, dass der Papst einen Platz sowohl im Inneren der Ortskirche hat, wie wir es auch in jeder heiligen Messe zum Ausdruck bringen, als auch einen Platz im Glaubensakt jedes Einzelnen. Das führt uns zum Thema des „Du“. Dieses „Du“ ist sehr wichtig. Dreimal stellt Jesus dem Petrus die Frage: „Liebst Du mich?“ Und das Echo ist das „Ich“. Das Ich ist immer ein Ich, das in Beziehung steht. In einer Beziehung von Angesicht zu Angesicht, von Blick zu Blick. Für uns ist es ein großes Geschenk, zu Papst Benedikt „Du“ zu sagen. Er ist physisch unter uns als Vater, und das in einer persönlichen Dimension und einer starken ekklesialen Dimension.

Wie gut kennt der Heilige Vater die Lage der Kirche im Nordosten Italiens; haben Sie mit ihm darüber gesprochen?

Als Erzbischof von München hat Kardinal Ratzinger oft in Brixen Urlaub gemacht. Er hatte also schon Gelegenheit, diese Region im Nordosten Italiens besser kennenzulernen. Was jetzt diesen Besuch angeht, so habe ich mit ihm persönlich gesprochen und die Hintergründe der einzelnen Stationen seines Besuchs erklärt. 1990 hat es in Aquileia ein erstes Treffen der Bischöfe des Nordostens gegeben. Jetzt, nach zwanzig Jahren, machen wir Bischöfe ein zweites Treffen, Aquileia II, auf das wir uns bereits seit einem Jahr vorbereiten und in das sich der Besuch des Papstes einreiht. Wir haben eine ganze Reihe von Materialien an den Heiligen Vater gesandt, um die Bedeutung der einzelnen Stationen zu erläutern. Was wir brauchen sind jetzt nicht weitere Analysen der Situation im Nordosten. Was wir brauchen ist ein längerer Atem, um unsere christliche Berufung im Alltag zu leben – und da erwarten wir ein wegweisendes Wort des Heiligen Vaters.

Sie haben von den fünfzehn Bischöfen des Nordostens fast wie von einer Gemeinschaft gesprochen. Wie würden Sie die Rolle dieser Ortskirchen beschreiben, gerade auch in ihrer Brückenfunktion hinüber nach Kroatien, Slowenien und Österreich?

Das ist sehr wichtig. Das ist etwas anderes als die Bischofskonferenz von Trivenetien. Dieses Wort ist ein wenig delikat, Diözesen wie Friaul, Bozen oder Brixen können sich damit nicht so richtig identifizieren. Wir sprechen darum von der Region des Nordostens Italiens, um mit Blick auf die Zukunft auch die historischen Wurzeln dieser Region in Erinnerung zu rufen. Von Aquileia aus wurden 57 Ortskirchen gegründet, die heute in Kroatien, Slowenien, Österreich, Bayern bis hin nach Ungarn liegen. Nach dem Fall des Eisernen Vorhangs müssen wir diese historische Bedeutung wiedererlangen, die einst die Kirche von Aquileia hatte. Wir haben einen Auftrag zu erfüllen. Es geht nicht nur um die Achse Ost-West. Über die Adria erreicht der Mittelmeerraum ganz Europa, auch den Norden Europas. Ein Historiker aus Venedig hat uns darum darauf hingewiesen, dass wir ein Angelpunkt zwischen Süd und Nord sind. Die Frage des Mittelmeerraums und Nordafrikas wird im Europa der Zukunft noch eine gewaltige Rolle spielen. Und hier liegt auch eine Aufgabe für die Ortskirchen in diesem weiten Nordosten Italiens.

Kommen Gläubige aus den Nachbarländern zum Besuch des Papstes?

Ja. Wir haben die Bischöfe der Nachbarländer nach Aquileia eingeladen. Es werden Polen kommen, die nach der Seligsprechung in Rom in ihre Heimat zurückreisen. Aber auch Gläubige aus Slowenien, Kroatien, Österreich oder Bayern. Ebenso erwarten wir eine starke Gruppe von Keniaten, denn die Kirche von Venetien hat eine bedeutende Mission in Kenia.

In Venedig, in der Basilica della Salute, wird Benedikt XVI. den Vertretern der Kultur und Wirtschaft begegnen. Ein wichtiger Termin. Ist er vergleichbar mit den Auftritten des Papstes im College des Bernardins in Paris, in der Westminister Hall in London oder in der Universität von Regensburg?

Uns wäre das natürlich recht so. Die Einladung zu dem Treffen richtete sich an die ganze Stadt und an ganz Venetien und wurde vom „Studium Generale Marcianum“ ausgesprochen, das eine akademische, pädagogische Einrichtung der Forschung ist, die in einem schönen, alten Palast ihren Sitz hat, dessen restaurierten Teil der Papst jetzt einweihen wird. Es war die Idee der Verantwortlichen des „Studium Marcianum“, den Papst um ein Wort über die „Berufung“ Venedigs zu bitten. Als Johannes Paul II. die Lagunenstadt besucht hat, hat er einen sehr schönen Ausdruck geprägt, nämlich dass Venedig eine Stadt für die gesamte Menschheit sei. Die ganze Kirche ist missionarisch. Aber die Ortskirche von Venedig hat den Vorteil, dass die Mission in ihr selber stattfindet, weil die Menschen zu ihr kommen, zwanzig Millionen sind es im Jahr. Wir haben den Papst eingeladen, seine Sicht der Mission Venedigs darzustellen, die alle Komponenten der zivilen Gesellschaft umfasst und gleichzeitig die ganze Welt anzieht.

Kann man von der historischen Bedeutung Aquileias für die Ausbreitung des frühen Christentums – der Apostel Markus hat hier gepredigt – heute noch etwas spüren? Hat diese Diözese eine besondere Mission?

Die verehrungswürdige Tradition der Kirche Aquileias, derzufolge der heilige Markus hier gewirkt hat, ist eher im Gedächtnis lebendig als dass sie heute noch die Fähigkeit hätte, die Gegenwart zu mobilisieren. Auch wenn es vor allem zwischen den fünfzehn Diözesen des Nordostens eine starke Gemeinschaft gibt, so ist auch der Austausch mit Kroatien, Slowenien und Österreich sehr intensiv. Es gab nach dem Fall der Mauer auch den Versuch der Politik, die Gemeinschaft „Alpeadria“ zu gründen, wo alle diese Ländern auf dem Gebiet der Kultur, der Bildung, des Tourismus enger zusammenarbeiten. Da ist also die Tradition, die aber heute vor ganz neuen Herausforderungen steht. Wir leben heute in einer Zeit der Vermischung der Völker, des technischen Fortschritts. Und im Grunde steht unsere Epoche vor der großen Frage, wie der Mensch des dritten Jahrtausends beschaffen sein will. Symbolisch gesehen hat ein Ort wie Aquileia eine außergewöhnliche Potenz, die aber heute mit Blick auf die Zukunft völlig neu interpretiert werden muss.

Ich muss gestehen, dass es mir schwerfallen würde, das „kulturelle Projekt“ zu erklären, das vor allem Kardinal Camillo Ruini den Katholiken Italiens vorgeschlagen hat. Wie würden Sie die pastorale und kulturelle Strategie der Kirche in Italien beschreiben?

Das „kulturelle Projekt“, das Kardinal Ruini vor einigen Jahren entwickelt hat, hat in den zurückliegenden Jahren eine stärkere Vertiefung gefunden. Die Italienische Bischofskonferenz hat ein Komitee von fünfzehn Fachleuten ernannt, Fachleute, die nicht nur kommen und gehen, sondern Freunde geworden sind, auch wenn sie unterschiedliche Positionen vertreten. Die Frage, um die es geht, ist die nach der Präsenz der Kirche in der italienischen Gesellschaft, das heißt die nach der kulturellen Interpretation des Lebens aus dem Glauben. Man bedient sich dabei mehrerer Instrumente. Eines besteht darin, ein Urteil über die Erziehung in diesem Land zu entwickeln, und das nicht nur in soziologischer Hinsicht. Das Komitee von Fachleuten sammelt dazu Daten und demnächst erscheinen die über die demographische Entwicklung, wobei die Schlussfolgerungen sich nicht nur an die Kirche, sondern an die ganze zivile Gesellschaft richten. Wichtig sind auch die Tagungen; so fand vor einigen Jahren eine über „Gott heute“ in Rom statt, eine nächste wird im Frühling 2012 das Thema „Christus, unser Zeitgenosse“ haben.

Was für ein Tag war für Sie der 1. Mai, der Tag der Seligsprechung von Papst Johannes Paul II.?

Für mich war es ein großes Zeichen der Hoffnung für die ganze Menschheit. Nicht nur wegen der tiefen Zuneigung zu diesem Papst. Ich kann das persönlich sagen, weil ich Gelegenheit hatte, mit ihm zusammenzuarbeiten – als einer der Initiatoren des „Instituts Giovanni Paolo II“ an der Lateranuniversität, als Bischof und dann als Kardinal. Sondern weil er der ganzen Menschheit etwas gegeben hat, wofür Hoffnung das richtige Wort ist. Er war ein Mensch, der die Geschichte eines ganzen Jahrhunderts in sich getragen hat und dank seines starken, mystischen Glaubens in einem Augenblick, der für Europa sehr schwierig und für die Kirche sehr delikat war, wieder eine Hoffnung vermittelt hat und zu einem Bezugspunkt für alle Gläubigen und indirekt für alle Menschen guten Willens geworden ist. Er stellt eine gewaltige Ressource dar. Benedikt XVI. mit seinem originalen Pontifikat kann auf diese außergewöhnliche Ressource zurückgreifen, nicht zuletzt wegen der langjährigen Freundschaft und Zusammenarbeit, die ihn mit Johannes Paul II. verbunden hat. 

Was meinen Sie mit dem „originalen“ Pontifikat des jetzigen Papstes?

Zur gleichen Zeit ist da die Kontinuität, aber auch die kreative Neuheit im Vergleich zum Pontifikat Johannes Pauls II.

Und was ist für Sie diese kreative Neuheit?

Sie besteht in dreierlei: der Demut, dem Zeugnis und den außerordentlichen Gaben der lehramtlichen Verkündigung.

“L’Europa operi in modo più deciso per il rispetto dei diritti fondamentali”. Un’intervista al Patriarca

CORRIERE DELLA SERA – Viene proposta qui di seguito un’intervista al patriarca pubblicata dal Corriere della Sera venerdì 7 gennaio:

Ieri ventuno rose rosse, ventuno «bocoli», sono state offerte all’altare della Madonna Nicopeia nella Basilica di San Marco al termine della messa  presieduta dal Patriarca, cardinale Angelo Scola. Un gesto speciale per ricordare il  martirio dei cristiani nel mondo e la strage di 21 persone che ha colpito la comunità copta ad Alessandria d’Egitto, una chiesa particolarmente vicina a quella di Venezia, perchè nate entrambe dalla predicazione dell’evangelista  Marco.

Epifania del SignoreCardinale Scola, l’imam Al Tayyeb, capo della moschea di Al Azhar, ha chiesto in un’intervista al Corriere, un segnale del Papa per ristabilire la fiducia. Lei, da decenni  si occupa attraverso la Fondazione Oasis della presenza dei cristiani in Medioriente. Cosa pensa delle parole di al Tayyeb?

«Prima di tutto bisogna prendere atto che sappiamo ancora poco gli uni degli altri. Lo prova il fatto che nessun cristiano praticante si riconoscerebbe nell’immagine della sua fede che è corrente tra i musulmani e viceversa. Poi è urgente affrontare il grande nodo del rapporto tra verità e libertà. Si tratta di un equilibrio sempre da riconquistare perché senza verità l’uomo si smarrisce, ma senza libertà l’uomo si ritrova schiavo. La violenza nasce anche da qui».

Ma i cristiani non hanno minacciato nessuno, semmai sono vittime di chi in nome della religione fa stragi e semina paura e morte.

«Purtroppo le percezioni sono radicalmente diverse tra una sponda e l’altra del Mediterraneo. Molti in Occidente si sentono sotto attacco da parte dell’Islam, mentre in Oriente molti ritengono che sia l’Islam ad essere sotto attacco. I media hanno una responsabilità in questo. Tuttavia dobbiamo rimanere aderenti ai fatti: non per la prima volta, alcuni terroristi che sostengono di agire in nome dell’Islam, hanno perpetrato un esecrabile attentato suicida in una Chiesa in cui erano radunati in preghiera diversi fedeli cristiani».

Benedetto XVI ha chiesto protezione per tutti i cristiani  come spiega che questa posizione venga etichettata come un’ingerenza? (altro…)

“Riscopriamo il valore pratico del vivere insieme”. Il settimanale Vita intervista il Patriarca su “Buone ragioni per la vita in comune”

BUONE RAGIONI PER LA VITA IN COMUNE – Viene proposta qui di seguito un’intervista al Patriarca pubblicata da  “Vita”, venerdì 11 novembre, sull’ ultimo libro del cardinale, Buone ragioni per la vita in comune. Religione, politica, economia (Mondadori 2010, pag. 120, euro 17,50):

Comunque la pensiate, le parole e i ragionamenti del Patriarca di Venezia, Angelo Scola, hanno la virtù di essere sempre interessanti perché capaci di aprire discussioni e perché riescono sempre a toccare e nominare i temi veri, quelli della nostra vita reale. Studioso da sempre, saggista (centinaia le sue pubblicazioni), docente orientato all’antropologia teologica – che ha insegnato alla Pontificia Università Lateranense di cui è stato anche rettore -, ha un motto episcopale che recita: «Sufficit gratia tua» (2Cor 12, 9), “basta la tua grazia”. Il cardinale sa che questo è un motto che non esonera dal fare, ma piuttosto libera dall’esito. Infatti, la sua è vita pienissima. I suoi discorsi in occasione della festa del Redentore a Venezia, hanno sempre segnato i nodi delle sue riflessioni capaci di non negarsi mai all’attualità: il meticciato, la laicità, lo spazio pubblico e le religioni, la libertà di educazione, il rapporto tra fede e ragione nell’era della neuro-etica, il bell’amore e la sessualità. Ora, con un libro uscito da Mondadori, (Buone ragioni per la vita in comune), tocca un nervo scoperto del nostro tempo: quali ragioni per vivere insieme e quale sorgente per una moralità condivisa?

Uno dei nodi del suo libro è tremendamente attuale, quale può essere oggi la sorgente della moralità comune. Lei dice che occorrerebbe una rivoluzione copernicana,«non più alla base dell’universale politico una procedura formale fondata sull’universalità astratta dei diritti umani, ma il valore stesso dell’essere in società». Ma davvero le pare una rivoluzione possibile?

Direi che più che possibile è necessaria, addirittura inevitabile. Quello che lungo tutta la modernità è stato garantito dall’ideologia come punto di coagulo, può essere solo garantito dalla percezione che il dato sociale, il “dobbiamo” vivere insieme, è anche un bene sociale. lo penso che bisogna invitare tutti i soggetti che abitano questa società civile plurale a raccontarsi, a narrare la propria concreta esperienza dell’umano e, attraverso questo appassionato racconto e questo lasciarsi raccontare dagli altri, tendere a quello che Ricoeur chiamava “il riconoscimento” reciproco. Solo così, mi pare, possiamo trasformare questo vivere insieme da costrizione o da paura in valore positivo. In questo senso la rivoluzione è copernicana: il passaggio da un dato di fatto (che alternativa abbiamo? Farci la guerra?) a un valore riconosciuto. E può proprio essere questo l’universale politico nuovo del terzo millennio: il bene dell’essere insieme nella pluralità. Questo va contro l’individualismo neutro oggi dominante. Neutro nel senso che è un individualismo in cui ciascuno sceglie senza più alcun riferimento al bene e al male. In una società senza riferimenti, l’individualismo è fenomeno molto conflittuale. Allora chi teologizza questo individualismo assoluto postulando un neutralismo assoluto sbaglia. In una situazione così la cosa fondamentale è che io proponga tutta la mia esperienza dell’umano. Per esempio, come voi fate col vostro settimanale, ognuno dia le sue ragioni: chi reputa un grande valore il volontariato o chi la famiglia, o chi ancora la cooperazione, si racconti e si faccia raccontare. Si proponga quello in cui si crede, non lo si taccia per paura di offendere qualcuno. Poi asseconderemo le procedure che una democrazia pattuita ha stabilito, per vedere quale è l’opinione prevalente che lo Stato dovrà registrare senza sacrificare i diritti fondamentali, ma solo quelli, non qualunque diritto e non i capricci scambiati per diritti.

Lei scrive che in un’epoca in cui nascita e morte sono messe esse stesse in questione occorre, anche alla Chiesa, riconsiderare da dove possa sgorgare l’idea, l’esperienza, di una moralità comune. E scrive, ..Credo si debba partire dall’esperienza elementare del bene, esperienza che ogni uomo fa». In che modo? (altro…)

Maltempo in Veneto, un’intervista al Patriarca

MALTEMPO IN VENETO – Viene proposta qui di seguito un’intervista al Patriarca, trasmessa da Radio Vaticana, sulla recente alluvione che ha colpito il Veneto:

Voglio anzitutto esprimere la partecipazione nella preghiera e nell’affetto al dolore di quei familiari che hanno perso i loro cari. Poi la mia partecipazione alla grande prova – perché non so se risulta chiara a tutto il Paese la misura della devastazione – di tante famiglie della regione, molte delle quali  hanno perso tutto e anche di molte piccole industrie – di cui il nostro Veneto è particolarmente ricco – che sono state messe in gravi difficoltà. Ma poi anche la mia ammirazione per la grande dignità con cui le persone stanno affrontando questo disastro e la forte solidarietà con cui si stanno reciprocamente sostenendo e stanno cercando una via d’uscita. Certamente sarà anche importante che le istituzioni facciano la loro parte e che tutti insieme cerchiamo di imparare anche da questa prova, molto dura, un rapporto autenticamente corretto con la natura, che vuol dire questo: riscoprirla come ‘creato’. Bisogna cioè superare due limiti con cui noi normalmente la trattiamo perché ci dimentichiamo che è ‘creatura di Dio’. Il nostro primo limite è che l’uomo si pensa come padrone assoluto della terra, considerata come una sorta di miniera da cui ricavare sempre tutto. Il secondo limite è un concetto astratto di relazione con il Creato stesso che confonde il mantenimento passivo dell’esistente con il rispetto della natura.

Il concetto teologico di ‘Creato’ sostituendosi a quello di natura aiuta perciò a prevenire disastri come questo? (altro…)

Religione e spazio pubblico. Il Patriarca sulla legge anti burqa

S.Em Rev.ma cardinale Angelo Scola

RELIGIONE E SPAZIO PUBBLICO – Viene proposta qui di seguito un’intervista al Patriarca a cura di Tom Heneghan dell’agenzia di stampa Reuters il 1° luglio sul tema delle norme europee contro il velo integrale:

Europe, face veils and a Catholic view of a Muslim issue

The French National Assembly begins debating a complete ban on Muslim full face veils in public next week and could outlaw them by the autumn. Belgium’s lower house of parliament has passed a draft ban and could banish them from its streets in the coming months if its Senate agrees. The Spanish Senate has passed a motion to ban them after a few towns introduced their own prohibitions.

Calls to ban “burqas” — the word most widely in Europe used for full veils, even if most full veils seen are niqabs — have also been heard in the Netherlands and Denmark. According to a  Financial Times poll,  the ban proposal also “wins enthusiastic backing in the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany”. (altro…)

“Il tempo del prete è il tempo che il Signore gli concede per donare la vita”. Il Patriarca intervistato sul sacerdozio da Famiglia Cristiana.

Viene qui di seguito pubblicata un’intervista al Patriarca condotta in occasione della sua presentazione del libro “Padre” di Monsignor Camisasca all’Istituto Agostinianum di Roma e apparsa su “Famiglia Cristiana” del 4 aprile:

Monsignor Scola, cosa la colpisce di questo breve ma incisivo programma di riforma della vita sacerdotale?

“Ciò che colpisce e convince di più, man mano che ci si inoltra nella lettura di queste pagine, è la loro natura di testimonianza personale intesa come metodo di conoscenza e di comunicazione. Privilegiando, per parlare del sacerdozio, la strada della testimonianza, don Massimo ha scelto la via più persuasiva, accessibile a tutti, e ha saputo sgombrare fin dall’inizio il terreno da sterili polemiche. Il dono-mistero, per usare un’efficace espressione di Giovanni Paolo II, della vocazione sacerdotale brilla nelle sue pagine come il fattore unificante di una maturità umana immancabilmente feconda. Del resto, se ci pensiamo, tutti noi abbiamo conosciuto il sacerdozio attraverso la strada maestra dei testimoni”. (altro…)