Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beyond Boffo

Sandro Magister of Chiesa has more on the conflict between the secretary of State and his ally Vian of L'Osservatore Romano.

Magister looks at three instances where the secretary with the aid of Vian has been working counter to the episcopate.

The first is in Italy where Bertone worked to see Ruini removed from office in a bid to wrestle control of the Italian bishops for himself (read here and here for my past posts on this). The next is US with Obama, first with the L'Osservatore Romano's characterization of the president as working in favor of motherhood and then ignoring the bishops' protests when Obama was honored at Notre Dame and the bishops' position on withholding Communion to politicians. The third is Brazil when, "[l]ast March, an article in "L'Osservatore Romano" disowned the Brazilian bishop of Recife for condemning the authors of a double abortion on a child mother. But the Brazilian bishops saw this as a betrayal by Rome while they were fighting a tough battle with the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva over the full liberalization of abortion."

The desire to have peaceful institutional relations with the established powers, of whatever shade they may be, is typical of Bertone. In this, he is applying a classic canon of Vatican diplomacy, which is traditionally "realist," even at the cost of clashing with the national episcopates that are often critical of their respective governments.

[Then at the end, Magister sums up...]

In the Boffo case, Pope Benedict "knows." And he personally sees things more the way cardinals Bagnasco and Ruini do, rather than like his secretary of state.

But the pope's stride is that of the perennial Church. Long and patient.

Is that last sentence a reiteration of the VIS statement that the Pope gives his full support to Bertone and Vian? Time will tell.

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