Angelo Cardinal Scola Angelo Cardinal Scola
Patriarch of Milano, Italy
Cardinal Priest of Seven Most Holy Apostles
Nov 07, 1941
Oct 21, 2003
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English Cardinal Angelo Scola visits Kosovo
Jan 21, 2006
Kosovo's young people have shown their desire for a better life, the cardinal of Venice said Monday, during his visit to the predominantly Muslim province.

(Southeast European Times, 17/01/2006) Cardinal Angelo Scola, the patriarch of Venice, held talks Monday (16 January) with representatives of the Kosovo provisional institutions and UNMIK. He was in the province for the funeral of Bishop Mark Sopi, the head of the Catholic Church in Kosovo since 1996. Sopi, a close friend of President Ibrahim Rugova, died of a heart attack last week.

"As a cardinal and as a representative of the Catholic Church at the global level I express my wish that Kosovo finds its physiognomy within the EU," local media quoted Scola as saying. He also praised the young people of Kosovo for their "desire to build a new life".

Scola's meeting with Rugova focused on Kosovo's road towards stability. He also held talks with Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi and Parliament Speaker Nexhat Daci.

Scola's visit was an honour for Kosovo and its people, Kosumi said. "Bishop Mark Sopi worked hard so that Venice's cardinal could have such a meeting with Kosovo institutions," he said.

Kosumi briefed the cardinal on political developments in Kosovo since the 1998-1999 conflict, stressing the desire of its people for freedom, democracy and prosperity, and for the opportunity to establish their own state.

For his part, Daci thanked Scola for the Catholic Church's contribution to restoring tolerance among Kosovo's people. The Church, the late Pope John Paul II, and his successor --Benedict XVI -- have demonstrated their interest in ensuring peace, justice and growth in Kosovo and the region, Daci said.

The parliament speaker also pledged that Kosovo would remain on the path of tolerance, which he said Rugova had initiated 16 years ago.

"We will feel proud that Rome, the Vatican, and the Catholic Church is active in Kosovo and close to the institutions and the people, and we are working for further co-operation in this direction," Daci said.
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