The Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Religious Transformation of the Largest Diocese in the World: the Church of Milan and the “Synod from the Peoples”

Laura Zanfrini, Luca Bressan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Within an ample study on the role of religion in the migratory and integration processes, this Chapter (co-authored by the book’s editor and the president of the commission in charge with the coordination of the 2018 “Synod from the Peoples”), provides a selection of the suggestions emerged from the consultative phase of this pioneer initiative promoted by the Archdiocese of Milan. The empirical base of the analysis, then, constitutes of reports, consultations, FGDs, and bottom-up contributions collected all around the local Church and its various institutions and stakeholders (among which parishes, religious orders, associations, charities, public schools, and single citizens, including non-believers). Launched immediately after the pick of the refugee crisis, which invested Milan with the arrival of thousands of asylum seekers, the Synod aimed to support an evolution of the local Church, coherent with the tremendous transformation of the demographic composition of the diocesan space. As stressed by the Authors, from a Catholic perspective, the Synod can be understood as a “prophetic enterprise”, as much as the social transformation of the city can be approached as a “prophetic challenge”. More in detail, the growing presence of Muslims represents both an identity challenge and a chance for the development of interreligious dialogue, exactly like the presence of many Christian Orthodox believers constitutes a spiritual challenge and a chance for the development of ecumenism; lastly, the significant number of Catholics with a migratory background embodies both a pastoral challenge and a chance to develop a self-reflective ability. To sum it up, it is exactly by managing these challenges and chances that the Milanese Church –as well as any other local Church– will be able to fulfil its authentic “catholicity”, while positioning itself in the global society and in the universal Church.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigrants and Religion: Paths, Issues, and Lenses A Multidisciplinary and Multi-Sited Study on the Role of Religious Belongings in Migratory and Integration Processes
EditorsLaura Zanfrini
Pages526-550
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Catholic Church
  • interethnic relations
  • international migrations
  • reiigion
  • religious pluralism

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