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.
At heart, most Catholics are Protestants, and even in Poland religion has become less important: Does the Vatican still stand a chance in Europe?
Until the 15th century, the Catholic Church practically existed only in Europe. So how to measure today’s faith in the most secularized of all continents, the problem child of the resigning Pope? (To take an extreme example: In an international survey in 2012, almost 60 percent East Germans stated, to have never believed in God, in the U.S. only four percent.)
According to the statistical yearbook of the Vatican, Europe is currently home to nearly a quarter of all Catholics in the world, and its share on the total European population has changed only slightly in recent decades. But what is a “Catholic”?
According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Vatican, Europe is currently home to nearly a quarter of all Catholics in the world, and its share on the total European population has only changed slightly in recent decades. But how to define a “Catholic”?
Baptized equals Catholic?
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, there is the so-called Church-tax, i.e. a federally registered membership, including the option to leave the Church. Which is reflected in the declining number of members (of which by the way, Protestants are affected equally or even more, despite missing celibacy and woman priests).