Peoples in Search of Identity

In Lugano, a round table on emigration and multiculturalism. Among the speakers were prominent personalities like Cardinal Ratzinger and former Italian President Francesco Cossiga. In the confusion and cultural uncertainty currently reigning in the West, the possibility of dialogue and tolerance


“Toward Coexistence Among Peoples. Emigration and Multiculturalism.” This was the theme of a conference held in Lugano from February 28th to March 2nd, an initiative of the international association called the Friends of Eugenio Corecco, Bishop of Lugano, created to continue the work of Bishop Corecco (1931-1995), who was born in the Canton Ticino. The almost contemporaneous solemn entrance into Venice as the new Patriarch and President of the association, Msgr Cardinal Angelo Scola, added to the resonance of the symposium, which was organized with the support of the Unione Giuristi Cattolici Italiani (Union of Italian Catholic Jurists). The high profile of the conference was ensured by the presence among the speakers of political figures like former President of Italy Francesco Cossiga and the President of the Region of Lombardy Roberto Formigoni, of jurists like Cesare Mirabelli, of protagonists of the economic world like Cesare Romiti, and leading men of the Church like Cardinal Ratzinger and Msgr Angelo Scola himself.

We limit ourselves here to a rapid introduction to the fundamental talk given by Cardinal Ratzinger, parts of which are reprinted on the following pages. The Cardinal re-establishes the necessity of making a distinction between true and false, and between good and evil, whose obfuscation in the conscience of the West is at the root of today’s cultural fragility: a mortal weakness that, among other things, makes the West incapable of confronting positively the mass migratory flux we have just been mentioning. These distinctions are not, however, seeds of intolerance, but rather instruments of peace to the extent that we understand that “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). Therefore, “truth and love are the same thing. This affirmation,” Ratzinger concludes, “is the greatest guarantee of tolerance; of a relationship with the truth, whose only weapon is itself and thus is love.”