The newspaper of the Italian bishops is under attack, and its director has resigned

In his September 3 letter of resignation as director of “Avvenire,” the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, Dino Boffo denounced the formation of “ecclesiastical factions” at war with each other, stirred up by the controversy surrounding him. In a letter to the bishops a few months ago, Benedict XVI was even more straightforward: “If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another.” The fact that there are divisions and conflicts among the Church’s upper hierarchy, sometimes exploding disastrously, is beyond question. The main disagreement over Italian politics today is between the two shores of the Tiber: between the secretariat of state on the one side, and the Italian bishops’ conference on the other.