Press release

V International Liturgical Conference 
Bose, May 31 - June 2, 2007
Monastery of Bose
National Office for the Church's Cultural Heritage of the Italian Bishops' Conference

Baptistery of Arzignano - ItalyPRESS RELEASE

Monday 28 May 2007

The V International Liturgical Conference will be held at the Monastery of Bose (Magnano, Province of Biella) from Thursday 31 May to Saturday 2 June 2007. The Conference is organized by the Monastery of Bose in collaboration with the Ufficio nazionale per i beni culturali ecclesiastici of the Italian Epicopal Assembly (CEI).This year, the topic of the Conference is the Baptistery.

The opening session will be co-chaired by Enzo BIANCHI, Prior of Bose and Mons. Stefano RUSSO, Director of the Ufficio nazionale per i beni culturali ecclesiastici (CEI).

Among the participants are Archbishop Piero MARINI, Master of the Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations; Monsignor Felice DI MOLFETTA, Bishop of Cerignola-Ascoli Satriano, Chairman of the Episcopal Committee on Liturgy of the CEI; Mons. Sebastiano DHO, Bishop of Alba and Chairman of the Episcopal Committee on Liturgy of the Episcopal Assembly of Piedmont. The presence of the official delegate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Prof. André Lossky (Paris) and of the official delegate of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, Fr Konstantinos Karaisaridis (Athens), gives fullness to the ecumenical dimension of the Conference.

Participants to the Conference at Bose
Participants to the Conference at Bose
Conference participants come from Italy, Belgium, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Switzerland, and the United States. The presence of monks from Italy and abroad testifies the vital attention which the monastic world devotes to liturgical themes.

Already in its fifth year, the International Liturgical Conference at Bose provides for an annual encounter of scholars and scientists of world renown, belonging to different Christian churches, who confront topics relayed to the relationship between liturgy and architecture, and offer a vast public composed of theologians, liturgical experts, architects, artists, stakeholders in church architecture and interested laymen, an opportunity for joint reflection inspired by a desire to know the value, semantics and symbolic implications of Christian liturgical spaces.

F. Frédéric DEBUYST
F. Frédéric DEBUYST

The introductory reflections of Fr Frédéric DEBUYST, foremost expert in Europe on the relationship between liturgy and architecture, trace the background of the topic in a contribution entitled «The Baptistery: Fountain of Life, Light and Forgiveness». The Conference Scientific Committee – composed of Enzo Bianchi (Bose), Goffredo Boselli (Bose), Frédéric Debuyst (Ottignies), Paul De Clerck (Paris), Albert Gerhards (Bonn), Keith Pecklers (Rome & Chicago), Stefano Russo (Rome), Giancarlo Santi (Milan), Crispino Valenziano (Rome) has placed the reflection on the baptistery fully in the theological and liturgical evolution of baptism, principal cause of the passage from the spaces for initiation of the early Christian church to the Tridentine baptistery chapel. Paul DE CLERCK (Institut Catholique de Paris) and director of the review La Maison-Dieu, discusses the theological and liturgical evolution of baptism; Jean GUYON (CNRS, Aix-en-Provence) discusses initiation spaces in the early Christian church, while Carlo TOSCO (Facoltà di Architettura, Turin) continues the historical overview illustrating the baptismal spaces from the Middle Ages to the Tridentine era. This is followed by a presentation of some of the most important examples of baptismal spaces in contemporary churches: Anne DA ROCHA-CARNEIRO on France and Belgium; Ulrich HAHN on Germany; Mauro SUDANO on Italy.
Awareness of the theological evolution of baptism and of the history of baptismal spaces from antiquity to the present day, together with the semantics of Christian baptism arising from the mystagogy of contemporary baptismal rites (Giuliano ZANCHI) will provide means and criteria for the evaluation of constructions of baptismal spaces in modern churches and for launching baptistery related architectural projects in the future. In this context, architect Angelo TORRICELLI (Facoltà di Architettura, Milan) has undertaken the task of illustrating several future architectural projects relating to baptisteries.


Albert GERHARDS (Seminar für Liturgiewissenschaft, Bonn) and Maria SCHWARZ (Technische Universität, Munich), widow of the renowned architect Rudolf Schwarz, deal with conservation and use of historic baptisteries as spaces of baptismal memory and spaces for an ecumenical convergence.

Enrico MAZZA (Università Cattolica, Milan) deals with the baptismal dimension of repentence and introduces an analysis of spaces for the celebration of repentence wcich is undertaken by Marchita MAUCH (Louisiana Stae University, Baton Rouge).

The submission by Robert TAFT (Emeritus Professor, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome) offers a reading of the understanding and practice of baptism and repentence in East and West. Philippe MARKIEWICZ, a monk at the Benedictine Abbey of Notre-Dame de Ganagobie (France), himself an architect and author of an accomplished study on liturgical architecture, will provide a summary of the conference proceedings.


After the opening session the official presentation will take place of last year’s Conference proceeding: AA.VV., Spazio Liturgico e Orientamento,
edited by G. Boselli, Edizioni Qiqajon, Magnano 2007.