The Catholic Church in Italy is preparing for Christmas with a meeting of ecclesiastical, scientific and cultural leaders to discuss “the question of God.”
The international event, organized by the Italian bishops’ conference, will be held from Dec. 10 to 12.
Titled “God today: with Him or without Him, that changes everything,” its attendees will hear from bishops, philosophers, theologians, scientists, artists, musicians, poets, scholars, and men and women of different faiths.
The originator of the event, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, will be one of the speakers, Vatican expert Sandro Magister writes at Chiesa.
“The question of God is not exclusive to the West,” the cardinal said at a Friday presentation to the media. “Scientific language is increasingly more universal, and therefore also universalizes its own negation of God.
“For this reason, the West has a debt to pay to the whole world: not to remove, but to clarify for itself the reasons for faith in God. Only in this way will it be capable of dialoguing with different cultures, principally those of Asia, instead of closing in on itself.”
The event’s other scheduled speakers include German philosopher Robert Spaemann, British philosopher Roger Scruton, the French philosopher Rémi Brague and Vatican Museum director Antonio Paolucci.
Topics to be discussed include God in music, cinema, television, and the sciences. “God and violence” and “God in beauty” will be other themes, as will creation and evolution.
Magister reports that the aim of the event is to revive a “positive encounter” between the faith and the culture of today. In his view, the event is harmonious with Pope Benedict’s approach and is an example of the mystery of God being rejected by the dominant culture but being alive in the hearts and minds of the “little ones.”