Rorate Caeli

A Vatican II moment in the Diocese of Lugano, Switzerland:
The Vatican II crèche, a nativity scene for OUR AGE

Nativity scene at the Sacro Cuore
in Bellinzona (Italian Switzerland)

The creators of this nativity, which at the very least is unusual, declared that the fruit of their inspiration will bring to parishioners an opportunity to reflect on tolerance and on Human Rights.

Installed near the main chapel, next to a large crucifix, six white towers two meters high topped with Islamic crescents surround a baptistery where the baby Jesus is lying. In front, an open book presents parallel quotes from the Koran and the Bible (...)

"We have received as many positive criticisms as negative ones," explain the artisans who created the scene, Matteo Casoni and Letizia Fontana, adding: "For us, it is already a success, since our goal was in fact to make people think and to urge them to ask questions especially at this time of the year. The idea came to us at the end of November after the vote against minarets." The two young artists point out that in no way do they share the opinion of 57% of their fellow citizens who want to ban such constructions.

Matteo Casoni, who is a member of the Sacred Heart community, explains further:

Beyond the political aspects, we said to ourselves that we should encourage reflection on other religions and on their role. In our nativity, the three main monotheistic religions are represented; the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions. The main message is that of comparison and of dialogue. (...) Saint Francis sought dialogue with Islam, without claiming to want to convert, but with the willingness to resolve a conflict in a peaceful way."

Letizia Fontana, a young historian who works at the Bibliographic Institute of Ticino believes that what she did is an act of civic commitment:

"Someone pointed out to me that this display does not respect the will of the people, making a clear reference to the referendum. But, for me, in a democracy, the minority has weight and especially in a case such as this one, I am part of the minority, and I have a duty to sensitize the population."

Father Callisto Caldelari, the Franciscan monk who is the priest at Sacred Heart approved the display, which is part of a larger initiative to exhibit about forty different nativity scenes:

"We accepted all the creations, the only requirement being that they attain a certain artistic level. This year there will be more than forty nativity scenes: from the traditional to the one illuminated by ultra-violet rays, and the one with six minarets. Naturally, we only accept those that respect our spirituality, and in the case at hand, the fact that a nativity with minarets is in a Franciscan church only reinforces the message of peace and dialogue.”

Father Callisto has nonetheless heard some negative comments:

"Yes! The most negative was precisely the one from the person who said that this nativity goes against the will of the people. I answered him in the following way: the popular will is not always ethical. Here, we speak of fraternity and of Human Rights."

"Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom." (Nostra Aetate, 3)
Tip and translation (adapted) by
The Brussels Journal; original source: La Regione Ticino.
Recess continues; news may be posted at any time.


  1. Benedicta3:11 AM

    Ah! L'Eglise suisse...!
    Pretty ugly and pretty stupid display (sorry, it's not a creche).

  2. Ponte3:32 AM


  3. Spirit of Vatican II moment, perhaps. Vatican II moment, no.

    And I thought St. Francis did attempt to convert the Mohammedans to Christ? Kids these days don't do even the least bit of research before undertaking some ridiculous art project. And I don't understand the science fair aspect of the nativity scenes in this church.


  4. A stab in the heart! How can this be called a nativity by any stretch of the imagination? Pity they are more concerned about appeasing other religions than giving due honor and focus to our Lord's birth. Goodness...the pitiful pitfalls of political correctness! ¡Qué Dios nos ayude!

  5. Anonymous6:32 AM

    Left out is the fact that the Diocese of Lugano does not have the Traditional Latin Mass on the every-Sunday basis offered by 'legitimate' authority.

    They 'include' the infidels but do not tolerate traditional Catholicism. As usual, a liberal is just a hypocrite by another name. So much for 'tolerance': for them, it means tolerance of their own ideas and nothing else.


  6. They can pander all they want but it won't save them in the end.

  7. Anonymous3:14 PM


    come on, be inclusive!

  8. Anonymous5:05 PM

    I think the creche may have been a bit more accurate to the times if one of the minarets were crushing the head of the infant Jesus.

  9. Anonymous6:47 PM

    Matteo Casoni is a liar or poorly formed when he is quoted as saying, "(...) Saint Francis sought dialogue with Islam, without claiming to want to convert, but with the willingness to resolve a conflict in a peaceful way."

    It is historical teaching that St. Francis went to convert the infidels and to die for the Catholic faith.

    The liberal's historic revisions have been refuted in Frank Rega's book, "St.Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims".

    When the fruit is rotten chop down the tree.

    Jerry, T.O.S.F.

  10. Anonymous7:31 PM

    If I was there and saw this I would knock it all over. What an insult to our Lord. What an absolute outrage!
    I would ask someone there to destroy these minarets for all of us!

  11. Anonymous8:07 PM

    I believe that this shepherd Muhammad really had apparitions, but they were devilish. This religion is too elaborate and too old to be maintained by men only. It must be the Devil working in Islam in a satanic parody of the Holy Spirit working in the Church.

    This nativity scene is satanic. It shows the innocent Infant Jesus held captive surrounded by the diabolical forces. And this is happening in a consecrated church! Destroy it immediately, free the Infant! Lord, have mercy!

  12. If I hadn't known the context of the recent Swiss vote to ban new minarets, I would have wondered if this were meant to depict the situation of Christians in modern Bethlehem, which remains under the Muslim yoke.

    It certainly looks like a good depiction of modern Europe, where Islamisation is proceeding apace, largely because of self-deluded people like the fools who created this "creche."

  13. Anonymous8:47 PM

    Islam is maybe the Scourge of God because of Europe's en masse apostasy and addiction to every kind of perversuion.

  14. Well done <Jason. The ghastly display picturesd has nothing to do with Vatican II. The Pope has stressed that the council was in continuity with what went before. t
    There is development but no rupture. There is a new orthodoxy based on resourcement- looking to the early fathers and scripture. Newman, whose writing have influenced Pope Benedict, can be said to be the Father of the Council. Along with De Lubac and Von Balthazar, the Pope moved away from te pre-concilior neo-scholasticism. The "sprit of Vatican II" went in a liberal trajectory not deemanded by the Council itself.

  15. I think the scene is quite accurate: the minarets are actually prison bars locking the Baby Jesus in, supported by confusion in doctrine and in faith (the mixed "bible"). Islam is truly surrounding Christianity and holding our civilization hostage.
    The scene, instead of telling about "human rights", actually cries out about how mohamedans are a satanic enemy of the Christian faith.
    This scene is an insult to our Faith.

  16. Is this worse than kissing a Koran? And yet Pope John Paul II is declared venerable by Rome. These "artisans" are in good standing with the Church, and not only in Switzerland.

  17. Anonymous4:56 AM

    May St Francis of Assisi obtain a stern, fraternal whip in the proverbial rear end to this most unfaithful son of his.

    To calumniate St Francis so! St Francis travelled to the Islamic lands and his first act was to beg the Caliph to convert to Christianity. His meek spirit alone saved him from what the Islamic ruler felt was insulting and his peaceful demeanor secured from the same ruler a free pass to the Holy Land.

    St Francis preached Christ Crucified to the Muslim!

    St Francis sought the peace of Christ not the false peace of ecumenical anti-christ!

    St Francis loved the Nativity and invented the Christmas crib scenes and never once dared built an anachronistic Muslim minaret in one!

    Shame on you Father!

    Shame on your brethren for keeping your lay people in the darkness of Islam which Holy Mother Church, together with St.Francis calls us to pray for Muslims to be delivered from!

    St Boneventure wrote the most reliable history of St Francis, not this sad excuse for a Franciscan.

    St Francis, pray for us. We love you and offer reparation to you for this great insult to your character and name.

    In JMJ
    A Knight of Malta

  18. Anonymous10:46 AM

    So is it possible to inscribe Dignitatis Humanæ within the hermeneutics of continuity? If we are satisfied with an abstract proclamation, certainly so; but at the level of historic pertinence, I cannot see how it could be.

    And the reason boils down to stating the obvious: the liberty proclaimed in the Decree Dignitatis Humanæ, which does not concern one aspect of the human person, but his very essence and, together with it, all his individual and public activity since he is free from any political and religious conditioning, has very little in common with, for instance, Mirari vos by Gregory XVI, Quanta cura and the Syllabus appended by Blessed Pius IX, Immortale Dei by Leo XIII (especially with regard to all that pertains to the relationships between civil authority and the government of the Church), Pascendi dominici gregis by St. Pius X and the Decree Lamentabili released shortly before by the Holy Office, or with Humani generis by Pius XII.

    In fact, it is not a matter of a different language. The diversity is substantial and hence irreducible. The respective contents are different.

    The content of the preceding Magisterium finds neither continuity nor development in that of Dignitatis Humanæ.

    So, are there two Magisterii?

    The question should not even be asked because, by its very nature, the Church’s Magisterium is one and indivisible: it is that created by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Many are those who – given the climate of the present time — while reaffirming its unity and indivisibility, do not at all distinguish the danger of the split in two. The idea that today, as homage to the present changed circumstances, the Magisterium applies a principle in a way different from, or even counter to yesterday does not frighten them.

    "The Ecumenical Vatican Council II: A Much Needed Discussion" by Msgr Brunero Gherardini, Canon of St. Peter's Basilica, secretary for the Pontifical Academy of Theology, professor at the Pontifical Lateran University and the editor-in-chief of the renowned Roman journal of theology "Divinitas".

    From The book reportedly reached the Pope’s desk, and is soon to be published in English.[...] The book ends by requesting that the Supreme Pontiff, “clarify definitively every aspect and contents of the last Council. Such omnia reparare [reparation of everything] could be accomplished through a great papal document, which would go down in history as a sign and witness of the vigilant and responsible exercise of His ministry as the Successor of Peter.”

    Some Internet advocates of hermeneutic of continuity here think that they're more educated in Catholic Theology than Professor Gherardini, Archbishop Ranjith and Bishop Oliveri together. But truth is more important than keeping up appearances even though it can shake the feeble faith. The conciliar texts will eventually be purged, with or without the SSPX, whether you like it or not.

  19. Isabelle4:19 AM

    "Well done <Jason. The ghastly display picturesd has nothing to do with Vatican II. The Pope has stressed that the council was in continuity with what went before. t
    There is development but no rupture. There is a new orthodoxy based on resourcement- looking to the early fathers and scripture. Newman, whose writing have influenced Pope Benedict, can be said to be the Father of the Council. Along with De Lubac and Von Balthazar, the Pope moved away from te pre-concilior neo-scholasticism. The "sprit of Vatican II" went in a liberal trajectory not deemanded by the Council itself."

    BULLPUCKY! Vatican II went in the liberal, modernist trajectory which the liberal, modernist fathers who hijacked the council intended. "In continuity with what went before"? Are you kidding? How is Religious Liberty in continuity with what went before? This despicable display is a direct result of VII and its embrace of Religious Liberty and shameful uncrowning of Christ the King.

  20. It has been a few years since I wrote about St. Francis and his attempt to convert the Muslims. Since then nothing substantial in the Church has changed, since she is hostage to VII. I don't think we will have a real restoration until the Council is overthrown.


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!