Bernhard Scholz

Bernhard Scholz is the new president of the Rimini Meeting

The first statement of Emilia Guarnieri's successor: "This dramatic moment reminds us of one of our main objectives: to witness a hope capable of facing all historical circumstances, to contribute to the common good”.

The “Foundation Meeting for Friendship amongst peoples”, which organizes the annual Rimini Meeting, has elected its new Board of Directors for the next three years. Those re-appointed are: Bernhard Scholz, management consultant, Andrea Simoncini, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Florence and Giorgio Vittadini, Professor of Statistics at the University of Milan Bicocca. Newly elected are: Guadalupe Arbona Abascal, Professor of Spanish Literature at the Complutense University of Madrid, and Marco Bersanelli, Professor of Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Milan.

Bernhard Scholz has been elected the new president of the Meeting Foundation, succeeding Emilia Guarnieri who has led the Meeting since 1993.

All board members have expressed their deep gratitude to Emilia Guarnieri, who was part of the Meeting’s founding group and who served as chairman for 27 years.

"Assuming the legacy of the founders of the Meeting", said Scholz: "means working with passion and responsibility so that the Meeting continues to grow and renew itself with the lifeblood of its origin. The dramatic moment of epidemiological emergency that we are experiencing reminds us of one of the main objectives that has marked the Meeting’s 40-year history: to rediscover and bear witness to a hope and courage capable of freely and responsibly facing the difficult circumstances that history places before us, a hope that allows everyone, in their uniqueness, to contribute to a common good, through their talents and weaknesses, through their knowledge and questions".

"The absolute need, in these weeks, to reduce contact to an essential minimum”, added the new president, "makes us even more aware of how much we live on relationships, of the value of encounter and dialogue, of exchanging experiences and, above all, of sharing. Looking at the doctors and nurses who, in these dramatic hours, in the midst of a thousand difficulties, treat patients suffering from Coronavirus with extraordinary dedication, to the limits of their own strength, we can recognize with admiration and gratitude how sharing, even to the point of sacrifice, is not only a precious good for everyone, but also the seed of change".

"Even in the face of growing political and economic discord, at an international level and within peoples, in the face of increasingly frequent existential loneliness and social problems”, added Scholz, "nothing is more necessary today than to experience positive relationships, in which an authentic commitment to one's own life and work allows one to rediscover the power of good and dialogue. Only in this way will the economy and politics also be able to deal with the problems looming over us in a forward-looking manner".

Read also - Emilia Guarnieri leaves her presidency of the Rimini Meeting

The title of the next Meeting "Devoid of wonder, we remain deaf to the sublime”, a phrase by Jewish philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel, "wants to be, in this sense, a passionate invitation to recognize reality as “leading” towards the sublime, that is, towards the meaning of life and the challenges we live today”, says the Meeting’s president. “Together with the collaborators of the Foundation, all the volunteers and all those who want to offer their contribution, we want the Meeting to increasingly be a place of encounter and of recognition of every authentic attempt and courageous human commitment, of that “seriousness about life” which, as Fr. Luigi Giussani testified and handed over to us, “is passion for meaning [...] this passion for life that makes us capable of friendship"".