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Friday, 9 March 2007

Magister on Archbishop Bagnasco

Many thanks to Luke Gormally who pointed me in the direction of Sandro Magister's column today. Magister offers a thoughtful and well-informed analysis of the appointment of Archbishop Bagnasco as the head of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) which we reported on Wednesday.

He says that Bagnasco is loyal to his predecessor, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, and is fully committed to the mission of Pope Benedict to "restore full citizenship to the Christian faith." The article contains plenty of information about Bagnasco himself, his humble background, his experience of teaching philosophy and his good work as military archbishop for Italy. In that post, he gave the gospels and the Catechism to Italian soldiers throughout the world. Magister is also a magisterial "Vaticanista" and he offers insights into the process of appointment. As with many such Italian journalists, we are left wondering how on earth he got his information but fairly sure, given his track record, that it is likely to be accurate.

Magister points particularly to the dialogue between the Pope, Cardinal Ruini and the atheist philosopher Jürgen Habermas whom Magister describes as
a proponent of an alliance between secular reason and religion, against the “defeatism” that modern scientism harbors within itself.
In this weekend's Catholic Herald, Clifford Longley has a letter concerning the article written by John Allen about British religious journalism. (See John Allen on the British Press) He says that Allen is "guilty of misreporting too" because his attack is based mainly on one piece of journalism. He goes on to give his own view of the Gledhill article: the fair and sober character of his critique makes it all the more telling.

Reading Magister today, it struck me that his article could be taken as a model of good religious journalism. He writes with detachment, conveys good deal of of accurate, publicly available information, includes some nuggets from his own carefully nurtured sources, and offers an intelligent, theologically aware analysis.

Magister's article: The Bishops of Italy Have a New Leader: Angelo Bagnasco
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