Skip to Content

The Pope; Matteo Salvini. Photo supplied

Italian church faces divide over immigration

The Italian clergy has aligned itself with the open-borders movement, while the country’s citizens — most of whom are Catholic — have been suffering the consequences.

Published: July 7, 2018, 10:13 am

    Rome

    Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has been criticised by Italian bishops because of his firm stance against migrants even though Salvini is currently the most trusted politician in the country by a significant margin.

    The leader of Italy’s League Party enjoys the trust of a remarkable 56 percent of citizens, according to a poll. While the new government has a 51 percent public trust rating, Salvini topped the list at 56 percent.

    This did not stop Italian clergymen from attacking Salvini from the pulpit.

    “It is Jesus coming to us on a vessel, he is in the man or child who drowns, it is Jesus who fishes through the garbage in search of a little food,” Cardinal Francesco Montenegro, archbishop of Agrigento, declared about the influx of migrants from Libya at the beginning of the month.

    “Immigrants, the poor, are a thermometer for our faith,” he continued. “Not welcoming them, especially closing our hearts to them, means not believing in God.” He reprimanded ordinary Italians for their “callousness and indifference”.

    But Italian Catholics say there is nothing in Catholic doctrine about open borders or relinquishing national sovereignty.

    While Cardinal Montenegro was delivering his sermon in Sicily last Sunday, a parish priest in the central Italian province of Teramo, Father Federico Pompei criticised Matteo Salvini by name. But his homily provoked an unexpected backlash.

    Most of his audience got up and walked out of Mass as the priest tried to incite the faithful against Salvini’s immigration policies. Some of them later spoke with local news outlets about the need for the Church to stay out of politics.

    “We are all equal, the Church says,” one elderly man told reporters. “But it’s not like that … first come the others, and then the Italians. I never voted for the League but during the next elections I will do so gladly, because now it’s time to think about the Italians.”

    “It’s a shame that a parish priest plays politics in Church during Holy Mass,” said another woman visiting from northern Italy. “He should have just said that we need to help our neighbour and left it at that. What’s the point of calling out Salvini?”

    A bishop who had dared to allow Salvini to speak in one of his parishes was crucified by the “tolerant” mainstream media.

    Pope Francis on Friday presided over a Mass for migrants in St Peter’s Basilica marking the fifth anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa, the Italian island that has been the primary destination of migrants trying to reach Europe from North Africa.

    “God needs our eyes to see the needs of brothers and sisters… He needs our hands to rescue,” the Pope said. “Confronted with today’s migration challenges, the only sensible answer is that of solidarity and mercy”.

    The pontiff thanked those who carry out rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, including officials who attended the Mass Friday, including from Spain, for “simply deciding to take responsibility” and saving lives.

    Salvini has been engaged for years in a continuous polemic against the Vatican – and especially with Pope Bergoglio – for his pro-immigrantion stance and solidarity with the “poorest”.

     

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • Bill Veris

      It’s about time all Western countries get serious about illegal and legal immigration! (Whether they come by boat or plane.) ENOUGH’S ENOUGH!

      There should be a moratorium on immigration and give it a break for at least 10 maybe up to 50 years! In that time the Great Immigration cult should be spoken about and the questions should be asked of who we should let in or not. It’s about keeping the West, WESTERN. It’s the kinds of people who’s nationality and ethnic background that should be considered — not this hodge, podge, randomness of letting the whole world in! Chinese get to remain Han Chinese so Italians have a right to remain Italian (Western, White, European — Whatever you want to call it.) Australia and every country that’s Western should have this same right as well.

    Europe

    Ukraine, a terror state?

    New leader of Donetsk People’s Republic: The former leader of Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko was assasinated by Ukrainian Security Service.

    Luxemburg minister swears at Salvini as immigration summit turns ugly

    This past week the interior ministers of the member states of the European Union met in Vienna where Jean Asselborn, a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, and Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg, inadvertently boosted conservatives.

    Dalai Lama in Sweden: ‘Europe belongs to Europeans’

    The Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lamas message is that Europe belongs to Europeans and refugees should return to their home countries as soon as the danger is over. Swedish journalists quickly changed from celebrating the peace laureate to suggesting the old monk is ignorant.

    French conservatives question proposed Arabic teaching at schools

    French conservatives on Tuesday criticised the "revival of teaching of Arabic" in schools welcomed by Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer. 

    Dutch government faces legal trouble after aiding terrorists

    The "moderate" rebels in Syria were not moderate at all, the recent scandal in the Netherlands has demonstrated yet again. Faced with mounting legal problems, the Dutch government has been forced to cut loose the jihadists. At least one prosecutor seems to believe that the government committed a crime.

    Dutch government supported armed groups designated as terrorists

    The HagueThe Dutch government supported an armed group in Syria that has been labeled as a terrorist organisation by the country's own Public Prosecution Service.

    Anti-establishment sentiment grows in Sweden

    The establishment parties dropped in yesterday’s election in Sweden, but far from what would be expected from early polls. The Social Democrats and Conservatives remain the biggest parties, with anti establishment Sweden Democrats at third place, growing from 12.9 to 17.6 percent. However, the party could still play an decisive role, since the difference between the socialist and conservative block is one single seat.

    Marine Le Pen welcomes rise of Sweden Democrats

    Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Rally - formerly known as the National Front - welcomed the rise of the Sweden Democrats.

    Swedish elections: Anti-immigration party set to be largest

    Today the Swedes are going to vote for a new parliament, as well as regional and local representatives. The anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats are expected to rise to the position of biggest party, while a completely new Alternative for Sweden has a chance to enter the parliament.

    Spain’s new Matteo Salvini?

    The new Italian government, under the leadership of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, has managed to stop the flood of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Italy. But now Spain is struggling. Who will lead Spain out of the quagmire?

    Go to archive