Prior of Bose: The Roman Curia Has Reformed, and it Shows

Enzo Bianchi Comments on the Pope´s Meeting with his Collaborators

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ROME, Dec. 22, 2000 (ZENIT.orgAvvenire) – The prior of the Bose ecumenical community, Enzio Bianchi, is a biblical scholar and expert on mysticism and prayer in the various Christian liturgical traditions. His community, located in the small northern Italian town of Bose, has been influential in ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox Church. Bianchi is also the director of the Biblical magazine «Word, Spirit, and Life» (Parola, Spirito, e Vita).

Bianchi spoke recently with the Italian newspaper Avvenire about the reform of the Curia that has occurred since the Second Vatican Council, and especially during the Pontificate of John Paul II. He noted that the Pope recently spoke of the Roman Curia as a «special community» that «breathes holiness», very different from any form of «career competition.»

  • Avvenire: How do you understand these words?
  • Enzo Bianchi: I think they are both necessary and important. We know from history that an organism existing alongside a ministry of communion and service like that of Peter can sometimes feel the temptation toward bureaucracy, career seeking, and power. Therefore, it seems to me very significant that the Pope remembers that the ministry of the Curia, extremely sensitive and important to the Papacy, must be a sign of holiness of life. Once more we have been able to see how the Pope perceives his ministry as one of service to the Gospel and not to any other interests.
  • Avvenire: Twelve years ago, «Pastor Bonus» continued along the lines of the Council what was defined as the «pastoral change» of the Roman Curia. Do you think that today the fruits of that work are visible?
  • Bianchi: I think the wind of the Gospel blows inside the Roman Curia and there is the possibility of transparent service, a true service to the communion of the Church and not simply one that offers career planning and advancement. The signs can be seen. Since the Council, the renewal has touched the many curias of the Church, including the Roman. This must be clearly acknowledged.
  • Avvenire: Nevertheless, much criticism still takes place, both written and spoken. Do you think much of this is based on an ´antiquated´ vision of the Curia?
  • Bianchi: In part, yes. To some extent, the fact that there is criticism is a good sign because it means that there are great expectations from this organism. It could be true that the men in the Curia are not on target with the styles and moods of the times; but I wouldn´t be surprised at that. The important thing is that inside the Curia, the exigencies of the Gospel in transparency and service constantly resound.
  • Avvenire: During the Jubilee, the Pope has performed many public acts of reconciliation. Do you think this could be an occasion for outsiders, who are sometimes uninformed, to learn to see the Curia without stereotypes?
  • Bianchi: Certainly, we are all in need of constant conversion. But in this case there is a need for more communication between the center and the particular churches. Actually, in the measure that this communication grows, the service provided for by the Roman Curia as the center of unity and communion is seen more objectively.
  • Avvenire: In a passage of his discourse, the Pope gives witness to his own daily experience of how prayer is the foundation of the Petrine ministry. Following the duty to be close to the Holy Father, what are the responsibilities of the Curia as compared with those of the whole community?
  • Bianchi: It is important to pray for the ministry of Peter. Christ himself asked for this, presenting his own prayer for Peter as a necessary intercession for the Church. The Acts of the Apostles also tells us that, while Peter was in prison, the Church continually directed intercession to God for him. Therefore, the whole Church is committed to pray for him. For this reason, those who are close to the Pope and help him in his ministry should pray for him all the more. These collaborators should live in a climate of holiness and continual prayer, for to a large degree, the unity of the Church and communion between Christians depend on his ministry.
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