00 9/22/2009 8:29 AM

The entire text of Cardinal Bagnasco's much-awaited opening remarks this afternoon to the Permanent Council of the Italian bishops conference (CEI) meeting in Rome is already available on the CEI site. But until I can translate it, here is a first report from AGI as to what he said on the Boffo case.

Cardinal Bagnasco:
The attack on Avvenire
struck at the Church itself

by Salvatore Izzo

VATICAN CITY, Sept. 21 (Translated from AGI) - With carefully chosen words, the president of the Italian bishops' conference (CEI), Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, reiterated today his condemnation of the personal attack by Il Giornale and its editor Vittorio Feltri last month against Dino Boffo, who subsequently had to resign as editor of the CEI newspaper Avvenire and director of tis radio network and TV channel.

Opening the autumn session this week of the CEI's Permanent Council, Bagnasco said, "We are still experiencing," he said, "the bitterness of an attack which, being unjustly directed at a person who was involved in giving public voice to our community, ended up striking somehow at all of us."

"The gravity of the attack cannot but be stigmatized again as a sign of the alarming degradation of that good tradition of civil coexistence that we all desire and to which we should all aspire".

"The telephone call that the Holy Father so kindly made to me, in order to get information and assesments on that contingency, and the words of great benevolence that he made about our (CEI's) work, have comforted us a great deal."

Reiterating that "the Church in this country is a presence that has been constantly loyal and constructive, and which cannot be coopted nor intimidated simply because it is doing its duty."

Following the invitation made by the Pope in his Angelus message yesterday to renounce all aggressiveness, Bagnasco indicated a line of action {"which must nonetheless not be misconstrued") that would not further exacerbate tensions with the government, as well as those within the Italian church itself.

"Following the wisdom of the Cross," he said, "free of interpretations that are extraneous to the reasoning of the Church, and with full respect for every person, everything takes on a different perspective, and these tribulations, none of which we sought, can become the mysterious seeds of salvation and good in this life and later for eternity."

"We are well aware," he added, "that others, looking at us, should receive from us, from the fabric of our communal life, the example of genuine witness to Christian living. Even when points of view are legitimately different, we cannot behave badly like those who no longer hope."

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 2/13/2010 5:05 PM]