L-R: Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor; Cardinal Angelo Scola; Fr Michael Holman SJ, Principal Heythrop College
On Thursday 15 November, Heythrop College was honoured to welcome Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, to present the work of the Oasis Foundation of which he is Founder and President. Oasis 'brings together Catholic Bishops and intellectuals from West and East to discuss ways of living the Christian faith today'. Oasis operates on three levels: relationships with Christians in Muslim majority countries; relationships with Muslim believers; and the impact on the West. Their principles are Communion, Testimony, and Universality.
His Eminence touched on the question of the nature of humanity, and whether there is any universal; before outlining four areas which he felt were key for us today: truth/freedom; the economic crisis; religious practice and secularisation; and ethical priorities. He received cogent and perceptive responses from Dr Tim Winter of Cambridge, Lord Brennan of the Catholic Union and Heythrop's Professor Michael Barnes SJ.
Cardinal Scola made a related presentation in the morning, more focused on socio-political topics, at the House of Lords, hosted by the Rt Hon David Alton MP. From Heythrop Fr Michael Holman SJ, Professor Gwen Griffith-Dickson, Dr Michael Kirwan SJ and Dr Martin Ganeri OP attended. His respondents were Dr Karim Lahham, Dr Sajjad Rizvi and Professor Ian Netton of Exeter, and Professor John Milbank of Nottingham.