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In this wide-ranging conversation with the Italian journalist Luigi Geninazzi, Cardinal Angelo Scola discusses both the salient moments of his own life and the path and situation of the Church and society in Europe over the last half-century. The Cardinal recounts his life, speaking of the extraordinary gift of particular friendships he has had, starting with Luigi Giussani, founder of the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation (CL), and moving on to discuss Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri De Lubac, and Joseph Ratzinger.
A figure who bridges the past three pontificates, Scola discusses his relationships with St. John Paul II, by whom he was nominated a bishop at the relatively young age of forty nine; Benedict XVI, with whom he has had an intense intellectual friendship for decades; and Pope Francis, of whom he speaks with affection and hope.
At the center of this rich fresco of anecdotes and reflections stands a crucial question: what is the true path of the Church today? Between those who reduce Christianity to a mere civil religion and those who propose a purist return to the Gospel, the cardinal indicates a "third way" by betting on the freedom of the human person to recognize the supreme value of Christ. This is at the same time a bet on the active commitment of believers to contribute, starting from faith, to the birth of a new Europe, inevitably more diverse but no loss of its identity.
Cardinal Angelo Scola was archbishop of Milan from 2011–2017 and is author of Hans Urs Von Balthasar: A Theological Style and The Nuptial Mystery as well as more than 120 theological articles. Luigi Geninazzi is an Italian journalist and writer.