CARLO CARRETTO: ESSENTIAL WRITINGS Selected with an introduction by Robert Ellsberg Orbis, 206 pages, $16
Carlo Carretto: Essential Writings will disappoint those who are seeking esoteric or even original insights. They are the writings of a man who was basically simple and poor, gifted and flawed and surely firmer in his faith than are most of us.
Carlo Carretto was a charismatic figure in post-World War II Italy, the leader of the Italian youth movement known as Catholic Action. Italy, at that time, was flirting with communism and the church was desperately seeking to counteract the Red Menace. For this it was necessary to enter into the political arena, but this could only be done directly by the laity. It was in this context that Carlo emerged, orientating, inspiring and mobilizing the younger generations. The fact that he headed Catholic Action for 20 years is a testimony to his success.