ITALY: Enrico's Encyclical

Toward a Communist- Catholic dialogue

The ritual seldom varies. On Sunday mornings in Rome's Cassia district, a slender middle-aged man accompanies his wife and son as far as the steps of the modern stone-and-glass Santa Chiara Church. He watches them enter and returns when Mass is over to accompany them home. In a country where husbands often leave churchgoing to their women, the scene is not unusual—except for one thing. The man is Enrico Berlinguer, secretary-general of Italy's Communist Party and an atheist who nonetheless is willing to accommodate the steadfast faith of his wife Letizia.

Berlinguer is also trying to...

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