Hope, despite of everything

Hope, despite of everything

Cardinal Bagnasco quoted the President of IUS
in opening the general Assembly of Italian Bishops

 

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco’s recall to hope was striking in the prolusion to the 64th general Assembly of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, last May 21st. Within the framework of a crisis that is turning out to be  «much vaster than any prevision», it is a strong word. Besides, stated the Cardinal, «one does not need great intelligence to take advantage of the objective unease, nor courage to denounce problems or limits, or to destabilize society,» while «one needs to have intelligence, courage and perseverance to propose concrete, effective and pursuable roads.»



His was a  preamble that introduced the dense analysis of the pages that followed, an indication sustained also by  the «serious words, » as he expressed himself,  «of one of our theologians, Piero Coda,» president of the Sophia University Institute of Loppiano and former president of the Association of Italian Theologians, when he stated that «the absence of hope for an individual, as for a society, is the first symptom of an imminent biological and spiritual death.»



In the text, the emphasis often went back to mentioning the living resources of our society, above all in the very articulation of the dioceses, the parishes and the movements. And the vitality that is being called forth is «is not an organizational force, but rather the warmth of faith, the intensity of prayer and fraternal love,» thus underscoring, at the same time, the necessary spiritual roots of every effort behind any social and cultural renewal, and the specific quality of relationships that should vivify the fabric of our communities. 


 
The synergy between what the Cardinal expressed and the experience that is lived at the IUS day after day was not lost.   That «huge cultural and collective rethinking» which the prolusion referred to is already in motion right there where the network of relationships is leavened by a profound  «culture of bonds» - an expression that recalls the language of many actors of civil and ecclesial life who animate the sector of civil economy and communion, as well as other political forums that aspire to universal brotherhood.



Another efficacious consonance comes to light with the image of the “classroom” where we come together, a classroom «with open skies,» «as big as Italy, but that we want to be as big as Europe and the world, » where the teacher is life itself that is articulated in the events of history,  «the echo of another Teacher» who does not hide his sure guidance. This confirms that within this ideal classroom new models for development, of hospitality and dialogue, of solidarity and social cohesion can also grow and be consolidated.

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