Political scientist and philosopher Ernesto Galli della Loggia, a lay professor at the University of San Raffaele in Milan, is one of Italy’s foremost commentators on Catholic affairs despite being a self-professed nonbeliever. His editorials appear regularly in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s leading daily newspaper. His analysis of Benedict XVI’s recent letter to the bishops of the world, in which the pope comments on the uproar surrounding the lifting of the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including one who has denied the Holocaust, was published on March 14. The following is an NCR translation.
For its exceptional character, and for the words it contains, the letter of Benedict XVI to Catholic bishops reveals much more than the personal anguish of a pope who, with regard to the Williamson affair, has been attacked and harassed by his own, and who sees how even in the church – for that matter, even in the Vatican itself, as the editor of L’Osservatore Romano has made clear – people “bite and devour one another” (Galatians 5:13-15).