Sunday, January 19, 2014


by Messrs. Gnocchi and Palmar, published in the Italian daily Il Foglio on October 9, 2013

This is an excellent example of how, when and why the laity can and should criticize the church hierarchy, and in this case, the pope; and a great example of how, when, and why the hierarchy can and should respond. 

The short version is that two Italian lay Catholic intellectuals wrote a column entitled WE DO NOT LIKE THE POPE. The pope, in an act of humility - much more significant than driving about in a 1984 Fiat - calls the authors personally and tells them that he understood "those criticisms had been made with love, and how important it had been for him to receive them.”

The pope's response to his critics raises him several notches on the scale of my esteem for him, especially since shortly thereafter, he went beyond words and ordered the very questionable interview with the Italian atheist - which had been a primary subject of the critique - removed from the Vatican website. 

The critique itself is a superb example of the much lauded but rarely authentically employed: "active participation of the laity."

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