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Early life and ordination
Scola was born in Malgrate, Lombardy to Carlo Scola, a truck driver, and Regina Colombo. He was the younger of two sons; Pietro, his elder brother, died in 1983. He attended high school at the Manzoni lyceum in Lecco, where he participated in the youth movement Gioventù Studentesca (Student Youth).
He studied philosophy at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan from 1964 to 1967, obtaining his doctorate with a dissertation on Christian philosophy. During this time served as Vice-President and thereafter President of the Milanese diocesan chapter of FUCI (Federazione Universitaria Cattolica Italiana, the university student wing of Catholic Action.
He then attained a second doctorate in theology from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He wrote his dissertation on St. Thomas Aquinas. An active collaborator in the Comunione e Liberazione (Communion and Liberation) movement from the early 1970s, Scola collaborated in the founding of the journal Communio with Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar (and conducted book-length interviews with them both).
After periods of study in Munich and Paris and time spent in pastoral work Scola returned to Fribourg to work as research assistant to the chair of political philosophy at Friburg from 1979 and thereafter Assistant Professor of Fundamental Moral Theology, a position he held until 1982 when he was appointed Professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome and Professor of Contemporary Christology at the Pontifical Lateran University.
Scola was named Bishop of Grosseto on July 18, 1991, and was consecrated by Cardinal Bernardin Gantin (with Bishops Abele Conigli and Adelmo Tacconi serving as co-consecrators) on the following September 21. As Bishop of Grosseto he promoted a renewal of catechesis in the diocese.
Among Scola's chief pastoral concerns in Grosseto were the education of children and youths, vocations and clergy formation (he re-opened the diocesan seminary), new approaches to parish life, the pastoral care of labourers (particularly during the difficult period of the dismantling of mines in Grosseto), culture and the family, and the opening of a diocesan mission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. During this period he wrote and published a book aimed at young people on the subject of the educative mission of the Church.
Scola subsequently resigned as bishop of Grosseto to serve as rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome and President of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, with a term spent as visiting professor at the counterpart Institute in Washington, D.C., during which time he wrote a monograph on the theology of von Balthasar.
From 1995 until the death of John Paul II in 2005 he was a member of the Congregation for the Clergy. He also served as member of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education of the Italian Bishops' Conference and, from 1996, as president of the Committee for Institutes of Religious Studies which addresses questions of the theological formation of the laity in Italy.
From 1986 to 1991 Scola served the Roman Curia as consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. At the various institutes where he taught he promoted the establishment of bursaries to enable foreign students, particularly those from poorer countries, to study in Italy.
From 1996 to 2001 Scola was a member of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers and wrote several texts on issues around health care. In 1996 he was named a consultant to the Pontifical Institute of the Family.
Patriarch of Venice
Scola was appointed Patriarch of Venice on 5 January 2002, elected President of the Bishops’ Conference of the Triveneta region on April 9, 2002 and created Cardinal-Priest of Santi XII Apostoli on October 21, 2003.
After the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, Scola was considered to be among the papabili in the 2005 papal conclave. Srđa Trifković supported him vigorously in Chronicles because he saw him as the only man who might reverse what paleoconservatives see as the decay of European culture.
It is quite probable that Scola's relative youth told against his chances after such a long papacy: the conclave elected Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Scola will be eligible to vote in any future papal conclaves that occur to fill a vacancy in the papacy that begin prior to his 80th birthday on November 7, 2021.
Scola is the author of numerous theological and pedagogical works on topics such as bio-medical ethics, theological anthropology, human sexuality and marriage and the family, which have been translated into several different languages. In addition, he is the author of more than 120 articles published in scholarly journals of philosophy and theology.
- Hans Urs Von Balthasar: A Theological Style Eerdmans Publishing Company (September 1, 1995) ISBN 0-8028-0894-8
- The Nuptial Mystery Eerdmans Publishing Company (February 15, 2005) ISBN 0-8028-2831-0
- Online texts
- Which Foundation?
- The Nuptial Mystery: A Perspective for Systematic Theology? (PDF file)
- Christian Experience and Theology
- Satanic Rites in the Church's Judgement
- All Angelo Scola's teaching, speeches, and writings
- What the cardinals believe, Angelo Scola
- "Scholarly Venice cardinal intent on raising church's profile", Catholic News Service, April 1, 2005.
- Oasis - International Journal
|Catholic Church titles|
|Patriarch of Venice|
2002 - Present
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