Back to the catacombs…

To live is to change, according to Italy’s Dr Luigi Bettazzi, retired bishop of Ivrea, who believes this applies to the Church as well as for individuals.

“Too often we think upholding tradition is standing firmly on what we have done in the past, when tradition really is to keep moving,” the 92-year-old bishop told reporters at a Vatican news conference, recalling how the Second Vatican Council had challenged bishops to change with the aim of living a modern evangelical lifestyle.

The last surviving bishop of 42 Council Fathers who in November 1965 celebrated a Mass in the Catacombs of Domitilla, signing a pact to live simply and close to the poor, Dr Bettazi said he was “not as strong as Pope Francis” when it came to housing; when told by his vicar general that he had to live in the bishops’ residence, he did as he was told.