Cardinal Scola: The Italy-favorite
Cardinal Angelo Scola from Milan presides over the largest diocese in Europe. He is regarded as a brilliant theologian and acknowledged expert on Islam.
Scola, Archbishop of Milan, and apparently spearhead of the mighty Italian faction in the Conclave, is considered to be one of the hottest candidates for the succession of Benedict XVI. In the past years and decades he has made a name for himself especially in the dialogue with Islam, but also as a brilliant conservative theologian.
Born on November 7 1941, in Malgrate (Province of Lecco – Lombardy), Scola was ordained a priest in 1970. He studied philosophy at the Catholic University in Milan and theology in Fribourg (Switzerland), and taught Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical Lateran University since 1982. In 1991, he received the episcopal consecration. Seven years, from 1995 to 2002, he headed the Lateran University and the Pontifical Institute for Marriage and Family Studies.
In 2002, Scola was appointed Patriarch of Venice, in October 2003 John Paul II. elevated him to Cardinal. Benedict XVI. finally appointed him Archbishop of Milan in 2011, with about five million Catholics, the largest Diocese in Europe.
The important ministries in Venice and Milan are probably responsible for the fact that Scola’s name is currently on every list of the most promising candidates for the papal office. Several Popes of the 20th century were responsible for one of these two dioceses before beeing elected Pope: Pius X. (1903-14), John XXIII. (1958-63) and John Paul I. (1978) had been Patriarch of Venice, Pius XI. (1922-39) and Paul VI. (1963-78) were elected Pope as acting Archbishops of Milan.
Archbishop Angelo Scola is considered to be open-minded and open to dialog, for his critics, he lacks charisma. He is also a confidant of Pope Benedict XVI., which is considered a disadvantage by those cardinals, that pressed for a profound change in the Curia after the scandals in the course of recent years. Scola is said to have been decisively involved in the establishment of the “Pontifical Council for promoting the new evangelization” in the year 2010, which some experts see as one of the greatest achievements of Benedict XVI’s papacy. Scola is a member of this new institution since its foundation.
Scola earned special merit in dialogue with Islam. The “Oasis Foundation”, an international organization promoting the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, developed from his initiative. Cardinal Scola commented repeatedly also publicly on the interfaith dialogue, such as the discussions in Europe about the Islamic headscarf or the “Arab Spring”. Theologically, Scola is considered a brilliant thinker, his publications mainly deal with the topics of marriage and family, as well as bioethical issues.
The most promising Pope candidates part I: Peter Turkson
The most promising Pope candidates part II: Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga
The most promising Pope candidates part IV: Tarcisio Bertone
The most promising Pope candidates part V: Marc Ouellet
The most promising Pope candidates part VI: Timothy Dolan
The most promising Pope candidates part VII:Luis Antonio Tagle
The most promising Pope candidates part VIII: Angelo Bagnasco
The most promising Pope candidates part IX: Gianfranco Ravasi
The most promising Pope candidates part X: Odilo Pedro Scherer