A layman in Conclave is a story not recently told. A successor to Peter for some time he has not appointed a cardinal outside the consecrated. The last case dates back to 1858. Nothing has been done for now and, in all likelihood, Brother Enzo will not wear purple in the future. One of the many turning points, this of the “lay cardinal”, which the left expects of Francis, but which the Pope does not support. It goes hand in hand with the story of the abolition of priestly celibacy, with that of married priests and with many others.
Apparently it was the secretary of state Pietro Parolin to advise Bergoglio before the Pope installed Bianchi in the assembly of cardinals. Just as it seems that Parolin has always identified in these days the solution of Bianchi’s departure from Bose. The source that ventilated this picture – which for us remains hypothetical – preferred to remain anonymous but, if the scenario told turned out to be true, then the Pope, on Bianchi’s fate, would have relied on the firm opinion of the “Foreign Minister” . “He’s the smartest”, the source pointed out, referring to Cardinal Parolin. “He probably wants to avoid further scandals” he added.
What scandals? To date, none. Perhaps it is a question of letting the new prior, the scholar Luciano Manicardi, manage the monastic community without the past being disturbed. Those who want to throw water on the fire tend to believe this version. “Cumbersome presence”: it is usually used to say so. It is an expression that progressives often show off for Joseph Ratzinger and his choice to dwell within the Leonine walls after the “renunciation”. “Bulky presence” seems destined to touch almost all the great “emerits”.
What do we know about why? Some scattered information: Bianchi left the monastic community of Bose after the inspections ordered by the Holy See; three years have passed since Manicardi took office; three close collaborators of brother Enzo greet in turn. Maybe the last one is an indication of how the management of the former prior, at least until now, has had a rather long trail compared to the natural times of a turn over. And the Vatican would have intervened as if to say that when you leave the baton, you really have to leave it. It is difficult for a young novelty to give their best when a certainty is sitting on the bench and the team knows it. The mystery, if any, is still unsolved.
Regardless of the procedural aspects and the examination of the weights and counterweights present in Vatican and in Bose, the central question is another: Enzo Bianchi was and still is a symbol, a myth, of what Catholicism should have become for what in the States they call liberal and in Italy we call “catto-dem” . A form of Aperturist Catholicism – the community of Bose is ecumenical and inclusive by definition – and available to debate on a public level on points deemed essential. Although not above all those useful for making European religious confession less conservative and more progressive. The list can stop at three positions: Brother Enzo Bianchi is in favor of biological clock, at civil unions and it is contrary to the thesis of those who claim that Christianity is the victim of an attack. If the first two points are catechetical and doctrinal in nature, the third is cultural. And also to help the progressive field and the politically correct.
Bioethics is the real dialectical field of proximity between Brother Enzo and radical chic: “If Christ in the Gospel speaks of marriage as an indissoluble union, nothing says about homosexuality. Honesty therefore obliges us to admit the riddle, to leave the question without an answer. On this, I would like a Church that , unable to pronounce himself, he prefers to remain silent “. It is not a sentence of Emma Bonino. In Veltroni’s time, Pannella said: “What is waiting for Walter to nominate Riccardi di Sant`Egidio, or Enzo Bianchi, or Monsignor Paglia? I have a long list of true believers, to be invited to the Democratic Party”. The non-violent, but also the gauche caviar, have often looked at the Piedmontese community experience as a paradigm capable of eradicating the traces of “obscurantism”. With Ratzinger, Brother Enzo freely acted as a counterpoint. With Bergoglio, Brother Enzo leaves his community. A paradox that has noticed the source mentioned above and that we limit ourselves to reporting.
THE traditionalists, almost paradoxically, they seem committed to pointing out how the Pope’s choices, which for the conservative front led to the unfair commissioning of some communities centered on the “rigid”, as Francis calls it – think of the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception -, are now also affecting the progressive field. In the air there is a certain solidarity between opposites.
The monastic community of Bose and Enzo Bianchi have been accused in the past of going beyond the boundaries of Christian-Catholic doctrine. The former prior, before the Vatican, at least with the Pope’s interval, proceeded to communicate the need for a transfer, was committed to political participation: he wants Catholics to become protagonists again.
The current situation it worries him: “I am deeply troubled: how is it possible that a politician today, in an election rally, kisses the rosary, invokes the patron saints of Europe and entrusts Italy to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the victory of his party? Catholics, if love Christianity do not be silent, protest! “. Someone, perhaps, instead protested from Bose. Yesterday Brother Bianchi asked the Holy See for help in clarifying the reasons for the provision that concerns him.
A few more chapters await us. Meanwhile, the “progressive Pope” – on the left I am sure – has disappointed those who thought that Enzo Bianchi, as the bearer of the Catholicism of the future, as a paradigm of dialogue at all costs, could not be called into question.