Community of Bose, Bettazzi the last bishop of Vatican II: “Enzo Bianchi is right to ask the Vatican for evidence, he must be able to defend himself”


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“I can’t give myself a reason for what’s going on at community of Bose. Enzo Bianchi it is good to ask the Vatican to know the evidence of them failings and to be able to defend against false accusations“. It is Monsignor who speaks Luigi Bettazzi, 96 years old, Bishop Emeritus of Ivrea and friend of the community. It is therethe only Catholic bishop Italian living today who took part in the Vatican Council II and it has been fundamental in the birth and growth of the community. In 1968 he was appointed national president of Pax Christi, an international Catholic peace movement, and in 1978 he became its international president, until 1985 winning the Unesco International Peace Education Prize for his merits. Today he lives in Albiano di Ivrea, a few kilometers from Bose, which he used to frequent until a few years ago.

Archbishop Bettazzi, what is happening to the Bose community?
I believe that Enzo is right to ask the Vatican the reasons for such a choice. There have always been difficulties with the emerits. They also told me that it would have been better if I moved away from Ivrea. But in the case of Bose I know that the new prior Luciano Manicardi and the founder, Bianchi, were in agreement in continuing to live together. Indeed it seems that the community itself insisted with Enzo to stay.

What solution can be proposed after a final and unappealable sentence such as that issued by the Holy See?
I hope an agreement can be found. This story should have happened in silence but it was not so. It is necessary that the founder and the prior find a harmony. Among other things, Enzo has been living in his hermitage for some time, he meets with his brothers and sisters for prayer but there is no reason for a clash. I believe that at this point the whole community has the right to know what guilt has Bianchi, Lino Breda, Goffredo Boselli and his sister Antonella Casiraghi.

Doesn’t it seem to you that there is an attempt to “Romanize” Bose implemented by environments contrary to the Pope?
I don’t know, look. In these hours I have heard everything, there has also been talk of investments but they are all thoughts without a foundation. It is true that the community has expanded, has offices in Umbria, in Tuscany, in Puglia but this is because many Christians are close to and support Bose. Someone told me that they were about to acquire a building in Rome but it does not seem to me a valid reason to arrive at such a measure.

Did you hear Father Bianchi?
I have not done it yet. I was very close to Enzo, but I have been far too long. What amazes me is having made this whole story public. I am convinced that these are the usual problems between the emeritus and his successor. On the other hand, Enzo himself, when he left the post as prior, said: “Today I don’t understand young people anymore.”

Is there a wound inside the Church?
“Sure. Bose is a community appreciated by everyone especially for contacts with the East and the Orthodox. Let’s wait to see what happens. If Enzo and the others were to leave, there is no doubt that they would have to find a place to be autonomous and not to create too many problems “.

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