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“The Christian contribution to the European Integration Process” »

Conferenza internazionale, Cracovia

X Jubilee Conference on:

The role of the Catholic Church in the process of European integration

The Christian contribution to the European Integration Process

Cracow, 10-11 September 2010

Introductory remarks

Card. Angelo Scola Patriarch of Venices

1. European identity and integration

If we are to attempt to respond as concisely as possible to the topic proposed – the contribution of Christians to the process of European integration – while avoiding abstraction and rhetoric, we need to begin with a recognition of the sudden and often violent transformations that have manifested in all their fullness in the first decade of the twenty-first century that we have just been traversing : the process (I emphasise process and not prescriptive programme) of “hybridisation of civilisations”, the problems of terrorism, the energy and climate crises, the economic crisis. Not to speak of the change in the European religious panorama. As Jenkins[1] has observed, who could have predicted the marked decline in Christian pratice in Europe[2]? Who would have imagined such a significant Islamic presence in Rome and Madrid, let alone Paris and London? Not to speak of the urgent questions more closely connected with the present political and institutional structures of the European Union, from the financial crisis with its worrying repercussions on the single European currency, to the adjustment of equilibria between the organs of the European institutions, to the growing euroscepticism that has recently developed in many countries of the area, to the uncertainty into which the whole unification process seems to be falling. Among other things, it is struggling to keep watch “outside the house”, in particular on the so-called MENA area (Middle East and Nord Africa) which in 2030 will have 600 million inhabitants.

Alongside these questions there is the broader one of the general climate that is seeimg the rapid diminution of the conviction that for centuries has sustained western civilisation, a conviction ultimately founded in the vision of man as person, integral subject of rights and duties that are harmoniously embodied in a system of laws. Against the background of a notable in-difference with regard to the various religious creeds that inhabit our societies, typical of what Taylor identified as phase three of secularisation[3], a phenomenon stands out lastly that involves Christians more directly in their public life. I am referring to a hostility towards the Christian faith and in particular to the faith of the Catholic Church which is beginning to be translated into certain juridical ordinances and concrete normative formulations.[4] Read the rest


Summer School Asset 2010

Studium Generale Marcianum Venezia

ASSET – Alta Scuola Società Economia Teologia

International Summer School/ Venice, September 6th-10th 2010 


 Rethinking Rights in a Plural Society

+ Angelo Card. Scola

Patriarch of Venice

1. The Summer School as an occasion and the role of Asset

The Summer School is a particularly important and prestigious event in the programme of research and teaching carried out at Asset, l’Alta Scuola di Società Economia e Teologia. Asset developed out of the Studium Generale Marcianum and it was conceived as a means of fostering contemporary interpretative frameworks for the study of today’s socio-cultural reality, viewed in terms of the rise of the “plural society”. This is a project that Asset plans to develop by the utilisation of methods of transdisciplinary comparison, through research on significant issues, such as discussion of the current forms of reason and “public reason” in particular and the elucidation of crucial anthropological and social issues from the diagnostic and critical-propositional point of view.

The transdisciplinary ethos that Asset aims to foster, making connections between the domains of legal science, economics, philosophy, and religion, is a necessity if we are to capture and comprehend reality as it is, namely as rooted in history. Economic globalisation, the civilisation of the internet, migration on an epochal scale, the spread of an education and schooling that are international in character – all these phenomena penetrate everywhere in the structures of contemporary societies. Therefore in pursuit of the unity of knowledge – the raison d’être of the Studium generale Marcianum, along with its concern for the unity of the subject of knowledge – we cannot fail to take up the invitation to the unity of the object of knowledge which is implied in the frequent projects of the transdisciplinary era today under way in various fields of research.

Theology too is of course not exempt from this commitment. The new cultural and social phenomena challenge it to the core; and it has the choice either of interacting with the other disciplines, or submitting to the consequences of too much self-referentiality. Theological pratice is called on for help in the guidance of study and formation by reflecting on the experience of the faith of the Christian community, the place out of which authentic and critical encounter with cultures is born. Read the rest

“Protecting nature or saving creation? Ecological conflicts and religious passions” »

Tanslation by  Giorgio Cini Foundation

Dialoghi di San Giorgio – Inaugural Event – Venice, 13 September 2010

Protecting nature or saving creation?

Ecological conflicts and religious passions

  Card. Angelo Scola

Patriarch of Venice

1. A cue from Mahler

O Schönheit! O ewigen Liebens, Lebens trunk’ne Welt!”: “O beauty, O world drunk with eternal love and life!” These words that Mahler added to the text of the last movement of Das Lied von der Erde (1907-1909) arguably sum up the whole spirit of the work. They are fundamental concepts shaping the structure of the composition.

First, beauty. According to Prince Myshkin’s celebrated claim in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, “Beauty will save the world.”[1] But beauty, if separated from good and truth would, to use Dostoevsky’s words again, this time pronounced by Dmitri Karamazov, be “terrible because it has not been fathomed and never can be fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles… The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.”[2] And yet, as the great St Augustine asks, significantly in De musica: “Tell me, I beg you, what else can one love if not beautiful things?”[3]

The second key concept in Mahler’s phrase is the world, seen as the whole of reality. In this connection his reference to drunkenness requires close scrutiny. It is not meant as an allusion to the “third eye of the poet” pointing the way to other worlds, which the so-called poètes maudits in late 19th-century Paris (Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Mallarmé…) sought by drinking absinthe. It is an opening up to fullness, overabundance and even the longing for. This brings us to love, the power which “moves the sun and the stars”[4], and often becomes solace in life. And lastly, life and eternity. Both because life is unquenchable thirst for eternity and because in every life there is something eternal.

2. Taking in the real

Like all musical geniuses, Mahler alludes to an irreducible state of affairs. Reality speaks to man and man is able to take in reality. Indeed, there may well be an intimate correspondence between the two. Read the rest

“The contribution of Christians to the European integration process” »

“The contribution of Christians to the European integration process” is the subject of the Conference due to take place in Cracow on September 10th and 11th. Promoted by Cracow’s Pontificia Università Giovanni Paolo II, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Poland and the Robert Schuman Foundation in Luxembourg, with the support of the Commission of European Union’s Bishops Conferences (Comece), the Polish delegation of the euro-Parliamentary group of the European People’s Party (Epp) and the publishing house “Wokol Nas”.

Conference program:


Cracow, September 10-11,  2010

10.09.2010 Friday

from 10:00AM Registration

11:00 AM Welcome

Bishop prof. Tadeusz Pieronek, PhD., President of the Organizing Committee, Kraków

Card. Stanislaw Dziwisz, Ph.D., Metropolitan Archbishop of Kraków


Bronislaw KOMOROWSKI, President of the Republic of Poland

Tadeusz MAZOWIECKI, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland

Jean-Claude JUNCKER, Prime Minister of Luxemburg

Introductory statements:

Card. Angelo SCOLA, Patriarch of Venice

Hans-Gert PÖTTER ING, President of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation

13:00PM Discussion Read the rest

“Desiring God. Church and postmodern” »

 August 25,  2010

Participant: His Excellency Cardinal Angelo Scola, Patriarch of Venice. Introduced by Giancarlo Cesana, Professor of Hygiene at University of Milano Bicocca.


“Europe, face veils and a Catholic view of a Muslim issue” »


july, 1th 2010

S.Em cardinale Angelo Scola

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”.

Only a tiny minority of Muslim women in these countries actually cover their faces, but that doesn’t seem to matter. That Switzerland has only four minarets didn’t stop Swiss voters from banning them in a referendum last November (and maybe banning veils next). There seems to be a movement to ban religious symbols that Europeans either reject or fear.

Is this the best way for Europe to deal with the veil? Should governments just introduce ever tougher policies and Muslims counter with increasing opposition?  Is there another approach that could offer a more harmonious outcome?

Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Roman Catholic Patriarch of Venice, thinks there is. His beautiful city of canals and gondolas might not be the first one would think of when discussing Muslim integration in Europe, but his Oasis Foundation there has been working with Christians and Muslims in the Middle East since 2004. His extensive contacts in the region have led to some ideas he thinks could be relevant for Europe. Read the rest

Interview with Cardinal Scola on Christian/Muslim relations by John L. Allen Jr. »

from John L Allen Jr’s blog

June 7, 2010

The murder of Bishop Padovese shocked the Christian world, especially in the Middle East. Do you believe this was the act of an isolated madman, or was there something more behind it?

Personally, I don’t know anything beyond what’s been in the newspapers about whether this was the act of an isolated madman (something, however, that the episcopal conference of Turkey, and above all the Archbishop of Smyrna, Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini, now the Apostolic Administrator of Anatolia, seems to rule out), or whether it was an organized act and, if so, at what level.

But from what Bishop Padovese said to us in Venice some months ago, during a meeting at the Cathedral of San Marco, I can deduce that he knew very well the risks to which he was exposing himself every day, and he faced those risks with an attitude of crystalline witness. Speaking of the church in Turkey, Padovese said: “If, as has happened in decades past, we as Christians accept being invisible, remaining an insignificant presence in the fabric of the country, there won’t be any problems. But we recognize, as is happening now in Palestine, in Lebanon, and above all in Iraq, that this is a dead-end street which doesn’t do justice to the Christian history of these countries, in which Christianity was born and flowered, and which would not do justice to the thousands of martys in these lands who have passed down to us the witness of their blood.” (Second Ecclesial Assembly, October 11, 2009). Read the rest

“Education as paideia. A proposal for our time” »

Comitato Scientifico Internazionale Oasis 2010

The Scientific Committee of the Oasis International Foundation





+ Card. Angelo Scola,

Patriarch of Venice

At the beginning of the deliberations of the Scientific Committee of the Oasis International Foundation I believe that it is necessary to take an overall look at the pathway that has been followed over the last seven years in order to assess the importance of the initial insight that brought some of us together in Venice in 2004 and at the same time to reflect in a critical way on the steps that await us. In this way, in addition to making the numerous Lebanese invitees who are amongst us today (whom I would like to thank in a heartfelt way for their presence and my gratitude goes in a particular way to His Most Eminent Beatitude the Patriarch Sfeir, His Excellency Minister Tareq Mitri, the Nuncio, the kind speakers, the large number of Bishops, the rectors and the professors) informed about the origins and the goals of the Oasis Foundation, we will be able to renew our shared commitment to an undertaking that is not without complexity Read the rest

“God’s plan for man and woman in the sacrament of marriage”. The nuptial mystery and contemporary culture »

Incontro con le famiglie svedesi

April 29, 2010. G. Fäldt, translation from the Italian for the Nordic Catholic Family Congress May 14-16, 2010, Jönköping, Sweden

Nordische Katholiche Familienkongress

Amore e Vita (Love & Life)

Jönköping, Freitag, 14 Mai 2010

+ Angelo Cardinal Scola

Patriarch of Venice

Before approaching the theme that the conference organizers have given me, which concerns God’s plan regarding the relation between man and woman in the sacrament of marriage, I would like to greet each one of you most warmly and thank His Excellence Monsignor Anders Arborelius who invited me at the end of June 2008 to take part in this meeting for families.

I would also like to thank the permanent deacon Göran Fäldt who has been in contact with me throughout the period leading up to the conference and Mrs Antonella Larsson who has done her utmost to make my trip to Sweden go as smoothly as possible. Read the rest

“Easter is the feast of Christ’s centrality in the life of man”. Patriarch’s easter homily. »

Tanslation by sr Léonard

Easter Vigil

 Gn1:1-22; Gn22:1-18; Ex14,15-15,1; Is 55:1-11; Ba 3:9-15.32-4.4;

Ez 36,16-28; Rm 6: 3-11; Lk 24: 1-12

Easter Sunday

Acts 10, 34.37-43; Ps 117; 1Cor 5: 6-8; Jn 20: 1-9

1. «I am Christ who have destroyed death, who have won the enemy and put the Hades under my feet, who have restrained the powerful and have lifted up man to the sublimity of heavens», an ancient Easter homily states. In two splendid mosaics – one present in our basilica and the other in that of Torcello which is much older – we can contemplate the powerful scene of the Anastatis (Resurrection). The Risen, with a vigorous arm, frees Adam and in him all men, from the chains of death trampling on the devil who vainly tempts to keep his victim. However, the victim manages to escape from his hands to enter in the new heavens and on a new earth. Christ is the undeniable protagonist of the scene.

Easter is the feast of Christ’s centrality in the life of man.

He is the centre of the cosmos and of history, the reading key of all the events of the existence of each one of us, of the whole human family and of the entire world. Read the rest