Dialogo è accettare l'altro come è e come egli stesso si definisce e si presenta a noi, di non cessare di essere se stessi mentre ci si confronta con il diverso, di essere consapevoli che la nostra identità esce arricchita e non sminuita da chi di questa identità non accetta alcuni elementi, magari anche quelli che noi riteniamo fondamentali. La riconciliazione è possibile, tra i cristiani e nella compagnia degli uomini. (Enzo Bianchi, priore della Comunità di Bose)

Ricci symposium brings together East and West

Guests unveiling the bronze statue of Father Matteo RicciMore than 90 scholars will present papers at Fu Jen Catholic University in a four-day symposium to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci.

More than 300 participants from around the world, including 25 from mainland China, gathered on April 19 to discuss East-West dialogue in terms of philosophy, history, religion, culture, science and education.

Father Ricci, an Italian missioner commonly known as Li Madou to Chinese people, was praised for his promotion of dialogue between the East and the West.

Chen Fang-chung, symposium spokesperson, told UCA News organizers had invited some mainland Church people who are involved in cultural research. They hoped this could enhance and deepen cultural exchanges between mainland China and Taiwan.

Larry Wang Yu-yuan, Taiwan’s ambassador to the Holy See, told UCA News it was good to see the mainland participants coming.

There should be more cross-straits exchanges in the academic and religious circles, especially for the Catholic Church, and not just exchanges focusing on the economy, he said.

Wang was among the guests who made opening addresses for the event.

Others included Father Barthelemy Adoukonou, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, retired bishop of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.

A ‘master’ of intercultural dialogue

In his speech delivered in French, Father Adoukonou said that FatherRicci was, in fact, not a messenger of culture but a messenger of evangelization.

“However, a good missioner should be a man of culture in the first place. Ricci was a model in both aspects,” he said.

Father Adoukonou said that, as an African, he saw the theme on dialogue as very important for the times. Cultural exchange could bring about a new kind of humanism, he said.

Father Ricci was “a master of intercultural dialogue.” Living in a globalized world, people these days should inherit what he has done, he said.

Cardinal Shan said in his speech that 400 years ago, Father Ricci had achieved the principles of interreligious dialogue as proposed in the Second Vatican Council, namely “mutual respect, mutual understanding and cordial cooperation.”

“The secret to Ricci’s success” was respecting Chinese culture without blindly following it and humbly introducing Western science and technology to China.

This went against the culture of empty talk among the Chinese scholars of his time, the cardinal said.

The international symposium also premiered a documentary film, Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit in the Kingdom of the Dragon, directed by Gjon Kolndrekaj.

Dignitaries unveiled a bronze statue of Father Ricci in front of the Ricci Building of Fu Jen.



19 aprile 2010