On October 6 and 7, the Pontifical University of the Lateran in collaboration with the revue Communio, organized an international seminar entitled Only Love is Credible , on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988).
The seminar intended to “recall the personality and the works of ‘the most cultured man of our century’, according to his friend Henri de Lubac (1896-1991)”. “Going through the different perspectives which have imposed the thinking of Balthasar in the theological organigram”, it is also about “clarifying the interpretation of his thinking in a way more coherent with the entirety of his work”.
The revue Communio, founded in 1972, brought together the theologians Hans Urs von Balthasar, Joseph Ratzinger and Angelo Scola in reaction to the progressive direction of the revue Concilium.
Among the speakers at this seminar were cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, cardinal James Francis Stafford, Grand Penitentiary, cardinal Marc Ouellet, archbishop of Quebec, bishop Peter Henrici, auxiliary bishop of Chur in Switzerland and Mgr. Rino Fisichella, rector of the Lateran University. Benedict XVI paid homage to the deceased theologian in a message read by Mgr. Rino Fisichella. After having “had the joy of knowing and associating with” Hans Urs von Balthasar, the pope recalled the “true friendship” which united him to “this renowned Swiss theologian”. Adding that “his theological thinking retained even today a profound topicality”, the Sovereign Pontiff said : “Hans Urs von Balthasar was a theologian who placed his research at the service of the Church, as he was convinced that theology could only be marked by ecclesiality”.