Rorate Caeli

Antonio Socci's scathing words against Bishop Galantino:
"There you go again!" "Poverty? OK, give back the taxpayers' money!"

Ah, bishop Nunzio Galantino! Personally chosen by the Pope to be the new Secretary-General of the Italian Bishops' Conference (Conferenza Episcopale Italiana - CEI), Bishop Galantino entered the world stage with one infamous statement:

“I do not identify with the expressionless faces ['visi inespressivi'] of those who recite the Rosary outside the clinics where interruption of pregnancy [‘l’interruzione della gravidanza’] is practiced, but with those young people who are opposed to this practice and strive for the quality of life of the people, for their right to health, to work.”

Saint Bernadette Soubirou's
"expressionless Rosary face" (Galantino dixit), 1861

It's like a twofer insult -- mocking what he considers to be the "expressionless" faces of pro-life bishops, priests and faithful who risk it all to pray in front of baby slaughterhouses, plus the gall to use the pro-death shock-free nickname for abortion, "interruption of pregnancy." Quite startling even for extremely liberal bishops.

Bishop Galantino has the terrible habit of granting imprudent interviews where he says horrid things, but always only against faithful Catholics, and, after his latest one, the great Italian journalist and author Antonio Socci has had enough. Why all this talk of "poverty" this and "poverty" that, and no question of renouncing the golden tax allocations in Italy? By the Italian system of religious financing (called 8/1000, "otto per mille", or eight per thousand), the Italian government has the obligation of sending 8‰ ('eight per thousand' or = 0.8%) of the income tax paid by all taxpayers, and taxpayers are the ones who choose in their tax returns which organization can receive the amount -- either an officially recognized confession, or the government's own social assistance programs. As most Italians are nominally Catholic, the largest amount goes to the Catholic Church. "You want to be poor?" says Socci, "be poor then!"

Socci is no traditionalist, quite the opposite -- he is even a strong supporter of Medjugorje, and quite happy with his Novus Ordo mass. His extremely harsh words below are absolutely unprecedented for a mainstream Catholic writer in Italy. In a sense, with his words, Bishop Galantino broke a pact of courtesy and conviviality between Bishop and faithful, and Socci has followed his lead, whether we agree with his tone or not .


In order to be coherent, poverty-obsessed Bishops (such as Galantino) 
must renounce their 8 per thousand

Antonio Socci
June 22, 2014

The Church wants to be “poorer in material goods and richer in evangelical virtue and has no need of protection, guarantees and certainties.”

Bishop Galantino, the new Secretary General of the CEI “made up” by Bergoglio in order to oversee and punish [Conference President] Cardinal Bagnasco (“guilty” of not having supported the Argentine prelate in the Conclave) did it again yesterday as he has done in the past. So – if words make any sense – the Church doesn’t welcome funds from the ‘8 per 1000’ anymore.

On another occasion, Galantino had thundered: “what is the use in the world today of a Church determined in defending its positions (at times its own real privileges).”

Everyone knows that it was the secular world of the ‘left’ that defined the ‘8 per 1000’ as a Church “privilege”, along with the exemption of the ICI [local property tax] and private schools (which among other things save the state a lot of money). Now, in the name of the CEI, Galantino, who craves the applause of the “Scalfarian”* public opinion, is doing the same thing. At this point, why make him unhappy by inundating the Italian Church with millions of euros?**

We have to make him happy, even if it’s halfhearted because of the problems that will arise for many good priests who labor heroically in important and excellent missions (and the many works of charity that could close leaving the task of helping the needy to the State). It’s right to fulfill the ardent desires for poverty of Galantino and company, who detest the “privileges” and money given to the Church.

Even then, certain people assert that it would be more credible (to go beyond the words) if the Secretary of the CEI would be coherent and propose the actual cancellation of the “8 for 1000’. If we do not choose to give the “8 for 1000” [to the Church], the State will get those funds anyway and perhaps there will be one less tax to pay, (as Ezio Greggio*** would say: “8 for a 1000”? No, no. I am struggling for myself and it’s already hard going”).

Mother Teresa's
"expressionless Rosary face" (Galantino dixit)


Once it becomes poor, the CEI will have to make cuts. Even to its TV2000 network (a structure with costs), the daily newspaper “Avvenire”, and the news agency Sir (with 427 employees, among journalists, technicians and management). However, Galantino couldn’t have understood this, as, with regard to the media, he recently summoned several directors informing them that he himself will create “an editorial plan” to put all of the media - with his wise guidance - under only one man. He wants to be in charge of everything.

At any rate, Galantino just appointed to the administration of TV2000 Paolo Ruffini - the one who has made Catholics suffer more than anyone else, as director of several TV networks. Just to give an example, as director of Rai 3, Ruffini, along with Fazio and Saviano**** created: “Vieni via con me” (Come away with me), a program – as a result of its unilateralism – that had lengthy polemics with “Avvenire” and Catholics. By choosing Ruffini, Galantino is calling for the applause of the secularized world and the dominant “way of thinking”. Things that go hand in hand with his craving for microphones and TV cameras. He even went on “Ballarò”***** where his loquacious vanity brought to mind Sacha Guitry’s quip: “There are people who talk, talk, and talk …until they find something to say.”

His problem is the seeking of applause at any price. Since the applause of the world comes only when things are said in conformity with the dominant culture, this is why the “little ideological report” is needed: Galantino does it often. Even yesterday.

"Expressionless rosary face," (Galantino dixit)
brought to you by the Pope of "certain gatherings"


In his craving to attack militant Catholics (the ones he should instead defend and represent), with his interview to “Regno”, anticipated by some newspapers, he once again threw the battle of the “non-negotiable principles” under the bus, even if they are official Church Magisterium. And he rejected “certain gatherings” from the times of Wojtyla, Ruini and Ratzinger.

Then he laid it on even thicker, by putting us on guard about values which “become ideology” (without explaining what this means). He recalled in an incorrect way the episode when Peter unsheathes his sword in defense of the Master, by adding a disturbing comment: “I must confess that I am left perplexed at the violent behavior,  also verbal, when values are defended.”

Violence? From the synthesis given by “Avvenire”, it’s difficult to understand what he’s referring to, but more or less, it would appear to be the typical Galantino “blunder.” Despite being in the context of his dispute on the non-negotiable principles, it seems incredible that he may be referring to Catholics, because there are no groups of Catholics that practice violence. On the contrary, Catholics are generally trampled on by the intolerance of other people and Galantino wouldn’t dream of protesting against that.

Anyway, he doesn’t even say a word about the ongoing efforts of the left to prohibit freedom of expression about “homosexual marriage” with a liberty-destroying law. [The "anti-homophobia" bill]

Recently Galantino proclaimed that the Church has to change and must speak, “free of taboos about married priests, Communion to the divorced and remarried, and homosexuality.” Then he really decided to overdo things and came out with this devastating declaration: “In the past we concentrated exclusively on the 'no' to abortion and euthanasia. It cannot be like this, in the middle there is an 'existence' which develops. I don’t identify with the expressionless faces of those who recite the Rosary outside the clinics where interruption of pregnancy is practiced.” Apart from the blithe dismissal of the Church’s perennial Magisterium, that contemptuous remark about the “expressionless faces” deeply offended those who recite the Rosary for the women and children. (And has Galantino ever looked in the mirror? Who does he think he is? Rudolph Valentino?)

With those words the Secretary of the CEI has unjustifiably offended the great pro-life people who were motivated by Pope John Paul’s magisterium, and examples of saints like Mother Teresa of Calcutta. There was a wave of indignation. Not only because a bishop had never been seen mocking Catholics who pray, not only because those prayers were initiated in Italy by a figure like Don Oreste Benzi – but also because, at times, bishops themselves take part. Moreover, sometimes, the ones who organize these moments of prayer are women who have experienced the drama of abortion themselves. Some of them replied to Galantino with touching words.

Nonetheless, the Bishop from Cassano Jonico – now with a ‘subscription to blundering’ – didn’t think of apologizing. On the contrary, last week he launched another one of his bright ideas in his [own] diocese: “We want to apologize to the non-believers because many times the way we live our religious experience completely ignores the sensibilities of unbelievers, and we say and do things that very often don’t reach them, but rather vex them."

Another "expressionless Rosary face" -
show some sentiment, please, Padre Pio?


With this, Galantino intends to show that he is better than Jesus Himself, Who never apologized to the world for coming into it in order to wake it up and “vex” sinners. Rather he claimed: “Do not think that I came to send peace upon the earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.” (Matthew 10, 34). In fact, Jesus must have created plenty of vexation for unbelievers, since those who became so infuriated finished Him off in such a vicious way. After which others have continued to kill martyrs throughout the centuries, right up until the present day.

However, Galantino is not interested in Christian “combat”, and not even in Christian martyrs. With all the “big talk” in our clerical world, not once – these past weeks – have we heard him mention publicly the case of Meriam, the young pregnant mother who is being held in prison in Sudan, was sentenced to 100 lashes and to be hanged, just because she is a Christian and just because she married a Christian. But these things don’t shock Galantino. Yet great testimonies like the ones of Meriam or Asia Bibi will remain for eternity. While “Galantino’s blunders” by midday have already become salad wrapping-paper at the street market.

As Chesterton said; “We don’t need a Church that moves with the world. We need a Church that moves the world.”

[Source. Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana]

*Scalfarian” - from Eugenio Scalfari editor of La Repubblica – liberal paper.
** In 2012, the total for the Catholic Church relative only to the "8 per 1000" was of almost 1.2 billion euros, of which only 22% went to declared charitable activities, 4% for investments, and the remaining 74% for maintenance and personnel. A sum of all tax breaks, public financing, and other sources of government money add up to a much higher amount. This is not necessarily bad, but it contradicts the general tone of "poverty".
*** Ezio Greggio – TV satirical comedian.
****Fazio Fabio – leftist TV talk show host; Saviano Roberto, journalist, author of books especially on the Camorra, the Naples mafia
***** Popular talk show on RAI-3 public television network.