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. [...]
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.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Church as it faces these challenges?
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.
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.
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.
zondag 3 juli 2011
Interview met de nieuwe aartsbisschop van Milaan
Inside The Vatican brengt een interview met kardinaal Scola: "Een geloof dat zeker is maakt open voor dialoog".