The defiant bishop of Chioggia has criticised Catholic attacks on Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for his efforts to curb illegal immigration, noting that the people’s frustration with the nation’s immigration situation “is not irrational.”
Commenting on a recent cover story from Famiglia Cristiana, Italy’s largest Catholic publication, which unironically compared Mr. Salvini to the devil, the defiant Bishop Adriano Tessarollo pointed out that it is “stupid” to identify the magazine with all Catholic priests.
It’s important to note that framing doesn’t just apply to secular media, unfortunately.
“Let’s stop this collectivising mentality,” the bishop said in his interview with Corriere del Veneto. “Broad categorical judgements are the most malevolent and offensive thing there is.”
Famiglia Cristiana “is not the voice of the Church,” said the defiant Bishop.
In an online interview with Vanity Fair, the director of Famiglia Cristiana, Antonio Rizzolo, actually made it sound as if his magazine was speaking for all of the Italian clergy.
What we sought to do was “underscore how the presidency of the Italian Bishops conference, many individual bishops of north and south, and Catholic religious and laity are reacting to certain scornful and aggressive tones from the deputy prime minister regarding the migrant crisis,” he said, shamelessly, conveniently leaving out that a majority of the faithful support the Interior Minister.
For a while now, there has been a growing divide between Church officials and the rank-and-file members of the faithful over the immigration crisis and over Minister Salvini in particular.
While a number of prelates have publicly criticised the new government’s attempts to clamp down on rampant illegal migration, polls indicate that Mr. Salvini is the most trusted politician in the country, and his immigration policy has garnered broad support from a largely Catholic population.
The Italian Catholic hierarchy has currently thrown its support behind unchecked immigration, but every day a more substantial portion of the flock is pushing back in an effort to retake national sovereignty. The people will win.
In a good first show, a trickle of prelates and priests like Bishop Tessarollo have begun to swim against the tide, reminding the faithful that Mr. Salvini is, shockingly, not the antichrist or the devil, but a realistic politician dealing with an enormous problem, which has engulfed not just his own nation but the whole Continent.
The current stand-off between the Italian government and the Church is something that will last for a long time, until enough of the faithful and the clergy wake up to the reality that is threatening our Civilisation.
This is an encouraging example of a member of the clergy listening to the people and coming to terms with what is happening.