Courtyard of the Gentiles in Stockholm: "' a world with or without God ? ..."
(Vatican Radio) As the 'Courtyard of the Gentiles' travels to Sweden for a couple
of days beginning Thursday 13th September we speak to the Head of the Pontifical
Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi who spearheads this initiative.
initiaitve stems from Benedict XVI's call to the Roman Curia back in 2009 to draw
inspiration from that 'Courtyard' which was once part of the Jerusalem Temple.
the pope's words : "...a free space for the Gentiles who wished to pray there to
the one God , even if they could not take part in the mystery for whose service the
inner part of the temple was reserved".
A space which this time round, the
'Courtyard' has already hit other European capitals such as Paris and Tirana, is
provided by different venues in this northern nation where the majority Church is
In Cardinal Ravasi's words, in an interview in Italian with Fabio
Colagrande, it's a Church: ..."...which may still be vital but is undergoing a deep
crisis. One where the faith is increasingly a niche experience. For unlike in the
past when in a certain sense this faith acted as a great binding element between
State and Church, throne and altar, today it no longer provides that former deep
seated cohesion between national life and culture and religious expression."..
theme picked for this Swedish 'courtyard' is a provocative one, it's: ' In a world
with or without God?' and when discussed, the Cardinal expects sparks to fly.
while he's scheduled to enjoy more formal moments as on the 13th he becomes the
first such titled prelate to cross the threshold of the Swedish Royal Academy, traditionally
lay and suspicious of all things Catholic, treading in the footsteps of many a Nobel
Prize winner, his schedule also provides, in his words, a kaleidoscope of :" clashing
In a special way on the second day of the "Courtyard", at Fryshuset
when in dialogue with young people he will encounter an atheist notoriously famous
for his agressive campaigning to rid language of the word" God". I'm Veronica