Lo scorso 1 giugno, il quotidiano di economia e finanza kazako "Kapital" ha intervistato il Cardinale Turkson sulla partecipazione della Santa Sede all'Expo di Astana.
L'intervista è disponibile nella traduzione in lingua inglese, di seguito, e in lingua originale [PDF]
Vatican and Expo-2017
by Alina Smirnova, journalist of the business newspaper «Kapital.kz»
Summarizing the experience of the Holy See participation in previous expositions, what was successful and what was not successful?
Well, what is success and lack of success in a participation in an EXPO? For some, the number of visitors to a pavilion is indicative of success or lack of success. For others, it may be the number of tweets; and still for others, it may be the quantity of souvenirs sold or the length of the queue in front of the pavilion. And so on!
Let me share some experiences of the Vatican at EXPOs with you and leave you to draw the conclusion: In 1964, for example, the Vatican sent the very famous statue of Michelangelo, the "Pieta" to the EXPO, which did draw huge crowds of visitors. In 2015, the Bureau International des Expositions also decided to award a prize: the Prize for theme, to the Pavilion of the Vatican (Holy See) at the World EXPO in Milan.
The Vatican certainly appreciates such recognitions at the EXPOs; but it participation at these EXPOs is driven by additional principles and considerations, such as, the extent to which it was able, with its exhibits and pavilion setup, to create a moment of encounter with new realities and cultures for visitors, to awaken a new sense of awareness of issues, to promote a discussion, to challenge visitors on assumed beliefs or lifestyles, to facilitate new discoveries and to challenge visitors to commit to national and global common good, and even to draw attention to issues and areas of the EXPO theme which may escape attention.
In any case, for the Vatican, EXPOs may not be reduced totally to being scenes of chaotic and colorful fun fairs, temporary shopping malls, filled with original products etc. EXPOs bring people together; and they remind us that we are human family that needs to get together from time to time to take care of its needs and to plan its future!
What do you think, does world exhibition on ecological topics change anything in life of society?
Yes, a world exhibition on ecological topics can change a lot in the life of a society. Change of any kind is a passage or a transition: a movement from a present experience or state of affairs to a new; and it does not always mean that the new is qualitatively better than the old. If this has to be the case: if change must mean an improvement on the past, and a passage to a qualitatively better state of affairs, it has to be intended and worked for. Such an intentional change is what an EXPO can help achieve.
EXPOs and the setups in pavilions always seek to tell a story, which is characterized by novelty, newness and new things, and whose narrative line is how better things can be if these new products or new way of understanding and doing things was adopted. Therefore, yes, world exhibitions can change things; but as it is also evident, people must be encouraged to appreciate, to desire and to embrace the new things. What is called for is education; and EXPOs do this in a very big way. Every visitor to a pavilion enters an education session: he or she meets different people, is given information about new things in such a way that he or she gets interested in what is being told him or her. He or she is shown concrete applications and attractive outputs. As he or she leaves the pavilion, he or she may receive information to continue the experience or associate with the group of his or her new experience.
Effectively done, this process of education at EXPOs can change a lot in the lives of people and society.
Expo-2017 is dedicated to the "future energy" topic as the cure of greenhouse gases and bad ecology. However, in August humanity has spent 100% renewable resources of the limit for the whole year. Also some scientists suppose that mankind has no chances to stop global warming. Do you believe in the future of the planet? What do you think about the pessimistic forecasts?
Do I believe in the future of the planet? Of course, I do. As a Christian and a believer in our world or planet as a creation of God out of his love, I believe that the fate of the planet (creation) is not determined only by man and by his use of creation, however abusive it may be (anthropogenesis). The future of the planet (creation) belongs to the purposes for which God created it.... humanity's common home!
I certainly do know of scientists and skeptics who dispute that climate change and global warming are real! But I also know of several scientists of all shades, physicist, chemists, biologists, paleontologists, geologists, archeologists, medical practitioners etc., who are committed to raising awareness about ecological threats to our planet and to campaigning for a change in lifestyles and our prevailing development paradigms.
The "pessimistic forecasts", for me, would not refer to scientists who do not think that mankind has a chance to stop global warming. This is really not true, as I shall demonstrate in the conclusion of my answer. For me, they refer to warnings, sometimes apocalyptically formulated, and wake-up calls to humanity to change course, because its present course is likely to end catastrophically. Such warning, then, comes not only from scientists, but also from Religious Leaders, such as, Pope Francis, the Patriarch Bartholomew and the Islamic Conference in Istanbul in the Fall of 2015.
The Patriarch Bartholomew says that humanity is "sinning" against creation. Pope Francis uses the same language, and adds that humanity faces an urgent crisis which requires an urgent and a concerted response. He is, however, optimistic that the human family has within it what it takes to deal with the crisis. Since the climate is a global common good, Pope Francis sees a global challenge which calls for a global response. Such a global response may be seen in the UN adoption of the SDGs, it meeting in Addis Abeba in July 2015 to describe source of funding for the SDGs, the Paris Conference of Consciences for Climate in July 2015 whip us support for the up-coming COP21 Meeting in Paris in December 2015 to commit to reducing rising temperatures, the meeting of Heads of State in the UN in February 2016 to sign on to the COP 21 agreement, and the last COP 22 Meeting in Marrakesh in November 2016.
These are actions of global solidarity in support of a global common good; and that is why mankind has a chance to stop climate change and global warming.
Translation from the original [See here the original version]