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Friday, July 26, 2019

Italian Bishops on Gay Pride and Reparations (squirm, check watches)

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Bagnasco hilary pieceCardinal Bagnasco, head of Italian Bishop's Cconference, speaks to Pope Francis

The dust is well-settled on June’s “Gay Pride” festivities held up and down the Italian peninsula. The pamphlets and confetti, condom packets and night club brochures have been swept up and the rainbow and hammer-and-sickle flags mostly put away, so we can take a look around at the general lie of the land, see which bishops said what about it in the end.

When I took photos of the Rome Pride demonstration in 2009, no one had ever even heard of anyone suggesting any response against it from the Church, either episcopal or lay. But last month a few tiny little events, barely grudgingly endorsed by a few bishops – and banned by others – went forward.


In Pompeii, a handful of Catholics were led in prayer with a giant Rosary.

And in Rome, a few “Catholic fundamentalists” prayed.

So… that’s something… I guess…

Meanwhile, Marco Tosatti reports:

“The bishops of Lazio[1], who did not have a word to say when the Partito Democratico[2] passed some of the anti-family and anti-life laws illustrated in the flyer, and that do not have a word to say about the Gay Pride of what was the capital of Christianity, they have chosen today to make known a kind of their own pro immigration, pro PD and anti [Salvini, Lega] government, ‘manifesto,’ clumsily masked behind evangelical recommendations.”

Anyway… moving on…

As we observed last month, the noted “conservative” Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, at the last moment forbade the faithful from publicly making reparations in prayer in any of the diocese’s churches. In a statement to secular news after this came out, the cardinals “director of social communications,” Fr. Silvio Grilli, said it doesn’t matter a whit if you think Gay Pride is OK or not OK, as long as everything was legal.

In a video interview with the far-left La Repubblica, Grilli smirked slightly into the camera as he said Catholics can “partly agree” (“It’s possible to be in accord, or not in accord or partly in accord…”) with the content of Gay Pride. According to the law, he added, people are free to demonstrate but the idea of praying for reparation is using the “language of condemnation.”

What about the cardinal’s message to the Gay Pride demonstration? “We recognize your freedom to demonstrate according to civil laws; the Church is open to welcome anyone who wants to convert and live in the chastity that Jesus Christ proposed and the CCC currently proposes; the Church however cannot accept that yours is a valid proposal of life, indeed the Church - not in its name but in the name of God - sees in these behaviors an ‘objective’ road towards perdition, for which it invites everyone to convert. Naturally respecting your freedom, which God first respects, but on the use of which he will demand an account from everyone on the day of judgment.”

… “currently proposes”…

La Repubblica interviewed a few of the marchers in Genoa, one of whom offered, “We are calm and serene, God and Jesus Christ, who do not judge or condemn, are with us; the Church is not yet completely, but we hope in future steps.” I’m sure she has good reason to hope. 

hilary pic 2Genoa’s auxiliary bishop, Nicolò Anselmi, bein’ a regular guy, down wit’ da peeps, in red T-shirt and stole.

This is the chap Pope Francis recently parachuted into Genoa as auxiliary and Vicar General. In 2017 he was featured by New Ways Ministry, the excommunicated anti-Catholic organisation plying homosexuality among Catholic lefties, as hosting an “anti-homophobia” event sponsored by the “Gionata Project, an Italian group of Christian LGBT people” – as New Ways put it. The events were held over a week in Catholic churches in seven Italian and two Spanish cities.

 New Ways notes that two more Italian cities have been added to the list of this annual event: “Significantly, the archdiocese of Palermo has an archbishop, Corrado Lorefice, chosen by Pope Francis in 2015.

“In Genoa the vigil will be hosted by a parish, but, subject to last-minute changes, Nicolò Anselmi, vicar general of the diocese, will also participate. Innocenzo Pontillo of Project Gionata says: ‘I think this is the most visible sign of how the (Catholic) Church begins to reflect on the questions posed by the Synod [on the Family, 2014-2015, HJW]about the pastoral accompaniment to be given to LGBT people and their families.’”

So… that’s something… I guess…

Moving on.

Up in Trieste, Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi not only allowed but called for prayers of reparation on his turf: “The most precious core of our faith in Christ the Lord and our devotion has been hit in the heart. Here is the need to repair what has been broken and to clean what has been soiled, which, from Jesus Christ onwards, constitutes the mission of the Church and of us Christians.” This was said in the archbishop’s homily following the Gay Pride event there, in which he also referenced the message of Fatima.

Called in Trieste, “Pride FVG,” the event “strikes in the heart” the “most precious nucleus of our faith in Christ the Lord and our devotion to the Virgin Mary”

“Beyond the vulgar languages ​​used, it is good to point out a point: what was proposed as an event to fight against discrimination, translated into a discriminatory event against the Christian people.”

So, that’s something… I guess…

Anyway… Modena’s officially approved prayers of reparation went forward, with the bishop, Erio Castellucci, assuring everyone of his “Catholic adherence to the anthropological vision” that says two men or two women aren’t a “couple,” mainly because they can’t… couple, that is.

But his biggest beef is with the confrontational style of Gay Pride, saying, “A constructive confrontation between civilized people who have different visions of life is possible and necessary.” He wants the homosexuals and their cultural supporters to know, “I continue to make myself available to this type of dialogue.”

If only we could all just get along! After all, he’s got plenty of homosexual friends in the “ecclesial fabric” of Modena.

“I know and relate to various people who have expressed their homosexual orientation and are well integrated into the ecclesial fabric; some of them have expressed to me, on several occasions, perplexity and discomfort both in the face of enduring derision and in the face of ‘ostentatious’ claims that they consider to be of little use to the cause.”

Castellucci’s exquisitely politically correct statement cited the “constantly expressed…teaching of the Second Vatican Council and condensed in the magisterium of the pontiffs, especially in Familiaris Consortio of St. John Paul II, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and in Amoris Laetitia of Pope Francis.”

“I believe that marriage is a community of life and love between a man and a woman, characterized by complementarity, reciprocity and generativity, and as such falls within the project established by God the Creator and confirmed by Christ the Redeemer.” 

…Aaaaand immediately hustled right on to: At the same time, together with the same magisterium of the Second Vatican Council and of the pontiffs, I believe that every person should be welcomed and accompanied. And therefore, as far as I can, I reject discriminatory attitudes towards those who do not share Catholic anthropology and who, remaining within the law, they decide to publicly express their ideas. The distinction of St. John XXIII between ‘errant’ and ‘error’ remains one of the cornerstones of the evangelical style assumed by the Church, which always seeks the synthesis between truth and charity.”

And swings right back again: “In the substantial dissent from the contents and from the method that animates Gay Pride, it seems inappropriate to create tensions and controversies.”

… “substantial dissent… tensions… controversies” …

And with this ringing endorsement, the event went forward.

He did object to the Modena Pride organisers using an image of the cathedral’s rose window on their publicity material, “which it would have been better to avoid inserting, because it ends up being a provocation in itself.”

He added that he wanted the reparations organising committee “to avoid demonstrations that could foment extremism and stimulate controversy. I immediately made it clear that the Committee does not officially represent the diocese.”

So…that’s something… I guess…

Bishop of Vicenza, Beniamino Pizziol, mostly seemed annoyed to have been asked about it, and offered “a greeting” to everyone “who will be present in our beautiful city to participate in the meetings and events. I am convinced that every person carries with him a history, values ​​and convictions that ask to be heard and deserve respect even before any religious, political, social or cultural affiliation…”

“My desire, therefore, is that everyone, even on this day, can feel welcomed in our city, whatever his origins, his choices, his orientations. The same thing must be said of the various events that, once authorized by the competent authorities, must take place without jeopardizing the good of all citizens, in compliance with the laws in force and allowing everyone to move safely and freely.”

… “his choices… his orientations… safely”…

Perhaps realising he’s out of his depth, he rallies and re-asserts his authority, echoing Pope Francis and “who am I to judge”: “As the bishop of this diocesan church, I wish to address in particular all baptized Christians who find in Christ the meaning and the reference for their lives and their choices. Let us remember that only Christ is the only judge of our life, the only one who truly knows the heart and mind of every human being.”

“Jesus himself in the Gospel invites us to recognize that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness and invites us not to judge our brothers in order to be able to experience the mercy of God in our turn.”

…“invites us not to judge”…

He announced then he would be celebrating a Mass on Saturday, June 15, “for all the people of God entrusted to me and for those who, driven by different motivations, will be present in our city.”

Then one last little parting whine… “To all those who, even through the press, in these days demanded my position, or even a blessing, for or against someone,” he suggests they “meet and dialogue,” and offers his services as mediator at the chancery.

Meanwhile, the Vicenza bishop’s secretary, Marco Gasparini, made sure to gave a warm and friendly “like” on Facebook to the Vicenza Pride events.

hilary graphic gay pride bishops

Ssooo… that’s… quite something[3]

With their bishop’s warm welcome, the faithful of Vicenza – the diocese of the late Cardinal Siri, btw. – forged ahead.

It might be less surprising that these paragons of moral courage faltered considering the incredible display of episcopal spine from (again “conservative” “good guy”) Bishop Thomas Tobin, of Providence Rhode Island, made it all the way to the Italian news. Il Timone’s Raffaella Frullone reports on the “24-hour” “re-education” of the bishop when he issued a statement by Twitter telling Catholics they could not participate in the Pride events. 80,000+ comments and 6000 re-tweets later, and inside a day “good” Bishop Tobin had issued a fawning, slavishly politically correct apology.

“I am sorry that my comments on yesterday’s Pride Month turned out to be so controversial within our community and offensive to some, especially for the gay community. It certainly was not my intention, but I understand that a good number of people were offended. I also recognize and appreciate the widespread support I have received in this regard.” 

… “gay community” …

That made him all sorts of friends, and deeply impressed everyone on all sides, including bishops in Italy, it seems.

Motus in finem velocior, as they (increasingly) say…


[1] The region – equivalent to a state or province – that includes Rome.

[2] The party formed as a compromise after a dust-up between Communist factions.

[3] Mostly an object lesson in never asking any bishop to say anything, ever.

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Last modified on Saturday, July 27, 2019
Hilary White

Our Italy correspondent is known throughout the English-speaking world as a champion of family and cultural issues. First introduced by our allies and friends at the incomparable, Miss White lives in Norcia, Italy.