Benny Lai, Dean of journalists accredited to the Holy See, essayist and author, died in Rome. His works include pieces on the Archbishop of Genoa and many on Cardinal Giuseppe Siri who was a strong candidate for the papacy.
Lai was born in Apriliano on 27 April 1925 and
joined the order of journalists in 1946. As of 2 June 1952 he began
dealing with Vatican affairs in Cosentino di Aprigliano in Cosenza
On that very day, Lai received his accreditation to
the Holy See Press Office (number 63) working for Gazzetta del Popolo, from Mgr. Gianbattista Montini.
He covered the Second Vatican Council writing for Resto del Carlino and Nazione newspapers and also did pieces for Indro Montarelli’s Il Giornale, but he wrote mostly for news magazines Panorama and L’Europeo.
He published a number of important essays including “Il Papa non eletto”
(The Pope who was not elected) on Cardinal Siri which triggered a
debate over the role the Archbishop of Genoa played in Italian social
and religious history and what was going on behind the scenes in the