Together with his friend and colleague, the journalist Alessandro Gnocchi, the legal philosopher Mario Palmaro recently made headlines for criticising Pope Francis in a series of articles published by ‘Il Foglio’. On learning that Palmaro was seriously ill, Pope Francis phoned him and had a moving exchange with him.
A few days ago, Mario Palmaro wrote a heartfelt letter to Riccardo Cascioli, Director of the Catholic online daily, La Nuova Bussola Quotidana, in response to his editorial analysis of the new Secretary of the Italian [Socialist] Democratic Party, Matteo Renzi. In his letter Palmaro expressed “his indignation about the direction the Church is taking, above all regarding the homosexual aggression which is of interest to the whole world.”
Cascioli asks for prayers for the ailing Palmaro.
Here is a substantial extract from Mario’s long and hard-hitting message:
My problem is the Catholic Church. The problem is that on the subject of the worldwide outbreak of the homosexual lobby, the Church has fallen silent. We have silence from the Pope to the humblest priest in the peripheries. And if the Pope speaks, the day after Padre Lombardi has to rectify, specify, clarify and differentiate. Please abstain from dusting off letters and declarations made by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio ten years ago. If I find out today that my son takes drugs, what should I say to him: “go and re-read the joint declaration made by me and your mother six years ago when we told you not to take drugs”? Or would I face him and try to shake him immediately as best I can?
Dear Director, where are the Episcopal Conference and the bishops in this battle? A deafening silence has fallen upon them. Actually, no: Monsignor Domenico Mogavero, Bishop of Mazara del Vallo, ex-under-secretary to the CEI and canonist – no less – spoke – oh, and how he spoke:
“The law cannot ignore hundreds and thousands of people cohabitating. It is right that cohabitating couples be recognized also in Italy without putting them on equal terms with families.” For Mogavero, “The State can and must protect the pact that two cohabitants have made between themselves. In contrast to Christian mercy and universal rights – note well – two cohabitants don’t exist for the law. Today, if one of the two is taken to hospital, the other is even denied in the lending care or receiving medical information, as if they were an outsider.” The Bishop concludes: “I think it is legitimate to recognize rights such as the reversibility of pensions or the transfer of rent in virtue of the person’s importance. It is unsustainable – Mogavero underlines – that the cohabiter is a Mr. Nobody for the law.” And as regards the Church, for which Pope Francis has invited reflection on this theme, in view of the extraordinary Synod on the Family, “without equating them to married couples, there are no obstacles to common-law unions.” Amen.
Do you get it, dear Director? Shortly they’ll take my son of seven and at school they’ll make him play with condoms and his genitals, and what does the Church talk about with me? About boatloads which sink near Lampedusa, about Jesus who was a refugee, about an obscure Jesuit of the 17th century just beatified!
No, my problem is not Matteo Renzi.
Dear Director, where is the Archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola in this battle?
Shortly they will stop us from saying and writing that homosexuality is against nature, and Scola talks to me about half-castes and of the need to understand and value the Roma culture. And again, it was the Archbishop of Milan some weeks ago who invited the Archbishop of Vienna, Schönborn, to our Cathedral: as the Church is disappearing in Austria, they asked him to come and explain to the priests of our diocese how to obtain such results – what their secret was. Just like this: a coach has brought his team to fall down on the league, and so we’ll give him the teaching post at Coverciano! [The central training ground and technical headquarters of the Italian National Football Team.]
And would you look at the coincidence, among other things: Schönborn – who wears the habit of St. Dominic and Thomas Aquinas – came to explain to the Ambrosian priests that he had personally intervened in protecting the nomination of two homosexuals for a parish council. Schönborn says he met them and: “I saw two pure young men, even if their cohabitation is not what the order of creation has foreseen.” There you have it, dear Director, this is purity according to a prince of the Church at the dawn of the year 2014.
And my problem should be Matteo Renzi and the PD?
They are going to take my seven-year-old son and brainwash him into thinking that homosexuality is normal and in the meantime, my Archbishop invites a bishop to the Cathedral to teach me that two homosexuals living together are examples of purity?
And so to finish. The Matteo Renzi who promotes civil unions is a physiological byproduct of a Pope who, in his travels is interviewed by journalists on the plane and declares: “Who am I to judge” etc, etc. Obviously, I know too that these two are not of the same nature, that the Pope is against these things and certainly suffers regarding them, and that he is motivated by good intentions. However, facts are facts. Confronted with that little sentence – epochal from the mouth of a Pope “Who am I to judge”–, loads of corrective and reparatory articles can be written, which tireless troops of “normalists” have been doing now for months, in order to say, don’t worry all is well – everything is just fine.
But we both know well, and anyone else who knows the mechanisms of communications does as well, that, that “Who am I to judge” is a tombstone on any political and legal battle regarding the recognition of homosexual rights. If we were in rugby, I would tell you that that little sentence gained in a few seconds more meters in favour of the homosexual lobby, than decades of work by the world’s homosexual movement. I’ll tell you too, that bishops like Mogavero, in the shade of that little sentence “who am I to judge” can build castles of dissolution without impunity, and the only thing left for us to do is to keep our mouths shut.
Let’s be clear: to impute that the Pope or the Church are to blame because all the countries in the world are normalizing homosexuality would be foolish: this rising tide is unrestrainable, it cannot be stopped. The reason is simple: London, and Paris, New York and Rome, Brussels and Berlin have become a gigantic Sodom and Gomorrah. The point is however, whether we want to admit this, dispute and denounce it, or whether we want to play smart and hide behind the “Who am I to judge”. The point is also, whether this worldwide Sodom and Gomorrah, merit the language of mercy and comprehension.
Well, then, I wonder, why don’t we also reserve the same mercy for the traffickers of chemical weapons, the slave-traders and financial embezzlers? Aren’t they also poor sinners? Right? Or do I have to ask Schönborn to meet them for lunch and evaluate their purity?
Dear Director, the situation by now is very clear: any Catholic politician, intellectual or journalist even if he wants to fight on the homosexualist front, will find himself spiked in the back by the mysticism of mercy and forgiveness. We are all completely de-legitimized, and any bishop, priest, theologian, director of a diocesan weekly or politician of the Catholic-democratic-type can shut us up with that “Who am I to judge”. We would be riddled with shots like a farm pheasant in a hunting chase by types like Mogavero.
Dear Director, our problem is not Matteo Renzi.
Our problem, my problem, is that the other day the Holy Father said the Gospel “is not proclaimed with doctrinal beatings, but with sweetness.” Also here, I would please ask “normalists” and timewasters to abstain. Even I know that effectively the Gospel is announced like that – apart from the fact that John the Baptist had rather brusque methods himself, and the Lord defines him “as the greatest among those born of woman”.
But you know very well that with that little sentence, we have both been spiked like codfish.
We have both been fighting against legalized abortion, divorce, in vitro fertilization, euthanasia, homosexual unions and cunning politicians like Matteo Renzi, who are promoting and spreading all that stuff. But there you have it, we are both irremediable doctrinal bashers, people without charity, ethicists, “theologians”, as some journalist from Communion and Liberation calls us. Furthermore, phenomenon like La Bussola and Il Timone are anachronistic examples of this lack of charity, of this unpresentable moral rigour. Plus, the daily, titanic efforts of the “normalists” will not be enough to subtract these titles of de-legitimization from official Catholicism, as all the balancing exercises in trying to keep your feet in two different shoes, always end up, sooner or later, with a tragic flight into the void.
I also think that the problem – forgive the personal aspect – is not dirty, ugly and bad Gnocchi and Palmaro, because of what they wrote in Il Foglio.
I would re-write the same thing again, ten, a hundred, thousand times more, since unfortunately, everything is coming to pass in the worst way, much worse than what we could have ever predicted.
This is why, dear Director, our problem and the problem of Catholics and ordinary people is not Matteo Renzi.
The problem is our Mother Church, who has decided to abandon us in the jungle of Vietnam: the helicopters have taken off and we have been left where we’ll let ourselves, one at a time, be spiked by the “Vietcong relativists.” I am not protesting for myself, and you know the reasons why. And besides, I prefer a thousand times, to stay down here waiting for the Vietcong, rather than ever get into one of those helicopters, in which perhaps there is the promise of a little seat in some clerical conference of the type “Scienza e Vita,” under the illusion that one is a part, in some way, of the official power, together with all the other ecclesial movements. Or with the crazy idea – written in black and white – that, Gnocchi and Palmaro were perhaps right, but they shouldn’t have said it, because certain truths should not be uttered, rather they should be somewhat denied publically in order to confound the enemy.
No, I am not protesting for myself.
However, I still have the problem of that seven-year-old son of mine and three older ones too. I don’t want to and can’t give them the response of the boatloads sinking near Lampedusa, the homosexual example of purity from Cardinal Schönborn, the half-castes and the praise of the Roma culture by Cardinal Scola, the disdain for doctrinal thrashings according to Pope Francis and the eulogizing of civil unions by Mogavero. To these children I cannot tell the fairy-tale called “Matteo Renzi.” Anyway, regarding Renzi, ten minutes done well by Crozza (Ed. a comedian of scathing satire) will fix him.
Dear director, dear Riccardo, why would I ever write these things to you? Because last night I couldn’t sleep. And because I’d like to understand – and ask the readership of Bussola a question: What more has to happen in the Church for Catholics to stand up, once and for all, and shout their indignation from the rooftops? Attention: I am addressing individual Catholics, not associations, secret meetings, movements, sects which for years have been managing the brains of the faithful for the benefit of third parties, dictating the line the followers have to take. These groups seem to me to be placed under the care of those minus habens [of lesser intelligence] and headed from afar by more or less charismatic individuals, who are more or less trustworthy. No, no: here I am making an appeal to individual consciences, to their hearts, their faith and their virility. Before it is too late.