Robert Mickens, in his column “Letter from Rome,” in the Tablet, quotes this expression of concern over divisions within the Church and the undermining of Vatican II, from Father Enzo Bianchi:
“There’s no denying it. Many people involved in the Church admit they are tired out, or in any case without hope.” Thus begins a disturbing article in the latest issue of the Italian monthly Jesus. The author is Enzo Bianchi, prior of the Monastery of Bose near Turin. For decades he has been one of the best-selling spiritual authors in Italy and a nationally recognized symbol of mainstream Catholicism. His recent article should make Catholics everywhere stop and think.
“This is not an easy moment for the Church, because the Church itself is lacerated and divided,” writes Bianchi. He says this is partly because various groups of Catholics are at odds over how to respond to the changing “cultural climate”. “But I believe we must recognise that there are also aspects of the inner life of the Church that are helping to making us weary. Many Catholics are working against Vatican II by criticising it and distancing themselves from it; by working against ecumenism and the liturgical reform.”
Those Catholics who “struggled to change” nearly 50 years ago, and obediently followed “the directives of the Council and the Pope”, are now filled with “confusion” and even “frustration” by this suspicious attitude towards Vatican II. And he says he is personally tired of opposing church factions waging their “wars” through blogs.
“I am nearly 70. I have worked my entire life for church unity and communion within my Church, but today I see many contradictions,” writes Bianchi. “And I ask with many others: where is the Church heading? This, our Church, that we have loved so much, and want to continue to love, as members that are loyal – not ones who are adulterous or who are looking for privileges and promotions.”
Something to think about, and pray about, on this Good Friday.