Born in Malgrate (Lecco) in 1941. He was ordained a priest in 1970. Doctor of Philosophy (Catholic University, Milan) and in Theology (Fribourg, Switzerland). Since 1982 he has taught Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical Institute John Paul II for Studies on marriage and the family of the Pontifical Lateran University. In this period he consecrated a monograph to Hans Urs Von Balthasar: Hans Urs von Balthasar, a theological style (translated in English).
He was nominated Bishop of Grosseto on the 20th July, 1991, and ordained on the 21st September the same year. His episcopal motto is «Sufficit gratia tua» (cfr. 2 Cor 12, 9), “Your grace is enough”. He exercised his ministry at Grosseto until 14th September 1995.
On the 24th July 1995, the Holy Father nominated him Magnificent Rector of the Pontifical Council of the Lateran University in Rome, and on the 29th September of the same year, Dean of the Pontifical Institute John Paul II for Studies on marriage and the family.
In this period he published two volumes on Theological Anthropology – Questioni di antropologia teologica [Questions of Theological Anthropology] and La persona umana. Manuale di antropologia teologica [The Human Person. Handbook of Theological Anthropology] – and the monograph, in two volumes, dedicated to human sexuality and to questions linked to marriage and the family: The Nuptial Mystery, vol. 1 Man-Woman; Vol.2 Marriage-Family (translated in English). Apart from these books, translated into several languages, Msgr Scola’s bibliography amounts to about 120 contributions in collected works and international theological and philosophical periodicals.
On the 5th January 2002, the Holy Father nominated him Patriarch of Venice. He officially entered the diocese on 3rd March 2002. In 2004 he started the Oasis project, of which Foundation he is President per life.
On the 28th September 2003 he was designated by the Holy Father Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church and confirmed during the public Concistory of the 21st October 2003. After being nominated Cardinal, on the 10th November 2003 he was re-confirmed a Member of the Steering Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Member of the Congregation for the Clergy. On the 14th October 2004 he was nominated of the Steering Committee of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. On the 9th January 2005, he was made a Member of the Congregation for Divine Office and the Discipline of the Sacraments. On the 18th March 2005 the Holy Father nominated him General Speaker for the XI ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2005 on the theme: The Eucharist: source and culmination of life and the mission of the Church.
Since January 2009 he is a Member of the Pontifical Council for Culture. On the 9th December 2010 he was awarded the Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Catholic University “John Paul II” in Lublin. Since January 2011 he is a Member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.
On the 28th June 2011 he was nominated by the Holy Father Archbishop of Milan. He officially entered the Archdiocese on the 25th September 2011.
Among his writings over the last few years, the following titles can be singled out: Uomo-donna, il caso serio dell’amore [Man-Woman: The serious case for love]; L’esperienza elementare. La vena profonda del magistero di Giovanni Paolo II [Elementary experience. The deep vein of the magisterium of John Paul II]; Un pensiero sorgivo [A generative thought]; Eucarestia, incontro di libertà [The Eucharist: meeting of freedoms]; Chi è la Chiesa? Una chiave antropologica e sacramentale per l’ecclesiologia [Who is the Church? An Anthropological and sacramental key to ecclesiology].
Two recent books have been specifically devoted to the themes of plural society: Una nuova laicità. Temi per una società plurale [A new secularity. Themes for a plural society], Buone ragioni per la vita in comune [Good reasons for a life in common].