Did the Pope send a signal?
Last Friday, when the papal schedule showed an evening private audience with Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian episcopal conference, I remarked that this might not be just a routine meeting. In light of the continuing controversy between the Italian bishops and the Berlusconi government-- and the unusual open criticism of the Italian bishops' newspaper by Vatican officials-- I suggested that we should watch carefully for "any whiff of a suggestion that the Pope has weighed in on one side or the other."
Well, two days after his meeting with the Pontiff, Cardinal Bagnasco is on the offensive again. We don't know exactly what the Pope told him last Friday night, but unless the Italian cardinal is defying the Pope's wishes-- which seems highly unlikely-- it's fair to assume that the Holy Father didn't tell him to back off.
Now if the Pope isn't asking Cardinal Bagnasco to tone down his criticism of the government, it would be odd indeed if the Pope's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, continued to suggest that the Italian bishops' conference should tone it down. Let's wait and see.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Progress toward our August expenses ($20,988 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!