Again we tip our hats to Rocco for this quote from Cardinal Angelo Scola, named today as Archbishop of Milan, Italy.
The importance of this appointment will be of interest to those who like to speculate on "who the next pope will be." Nothing definite here, of course, but Rock also has some interesting detail on the relationship between Milan and succession to the Holy See.
(And here's an interesting 2005 report on Scola from CNS.)
My purpose in bringing all this to your attention is the quote below from Scola which I find refreshing and hopeful. While in no way diminishing any point on the spectrum of what it means to live a Christian life, Scola brings us to the heart of the matter and sets it in contrast to any who might think or act or judge that Christian faith is primarily a matter of doctrine.
These words might offer a healthy caution to some in the Catholic blogosphere who have narrowly concentrated on the doctrinal to the near exclusion of much of that 360 degree dialogue encouraged by the archbishop-elect. And of course there is caution here, too, for those in the same blogosphere who concentrate so exclusively on the personal and on relationships that they lose sight of what the moral dimensions of the gospel demand of us.
“It is clear that we are faced [today] 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 relationships. This is the point. Because it is from the ‘I’ 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....
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 that 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, goodness and beauty within the horizon of happiness and freedom.
So when the Christian proposal is freed from the many things that weigh it down because of the contradictions and sins in 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....
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 a 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....”
--Cardinal Angelo Scola
Archbishop-elect of Milan
Interview with The Universe
26 June 2011
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