Rorate Caeli

Rome's immense pro-family rally - a victory for marriage and for children in the face of secular and Bishops' hostility

Piazza San Giovanni, Rome. June 21, 2015

Zenit in Italiano and various Catholic media sources proclaim that there were a million marchers. Breitbart counts attendance at half a million, while secular liberal outlets put it at 300,000. Nevertheless there can be no doubt that Saturday's rally at the Piazza San Giovanni (in front of the St. John Lateran Basilica) was a resounding success. The rally was formally described by its organizers as a "National Mobilization" against the imposition of gender ideology in schools and the "Cirinnà bill" that has been introduced at the Italian Parliament. This bill proposes to give same-sex "couples" many of the same rights as married couples, effectively entrenching homosexual "civil unions" in Italian law.

The secular media has been portraying this rally as simply "anti-gay marriage", but it was naturally much more than that. Despite being officially non-sectarian and despite the presence of small groups of non-Catholics, it was first and foremost a powerful manifestation of the genuinely Catholic "instinct of the faith" (to use Archbishop Luigi Negri's words) that continues to live in the minds and hearts of millions of Italians despite the seemingly inevitable triumph of secularism and the homosexual lobby. It was a powerful cry against indoctrination in "gender-ideology" that has taken hold of the Italian school system due to foreign pressure despite the protests of parents. The size of the event is all the more remarkable in that it was hastily organized (it was announced only on June 2) and was from the very start faced by media indifference and silence. And not only that... 

An article published yesterday on La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana by that site's editor, noted Catholic journalist Riccardo Cascioli, accuses Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the Secretary-General and de facto strongman of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), and probably the most pathetic and ridiculous clergyman in Italy (not an easy feat), of trying to sabotage the rally and of doing everything to prevent it from taking place! The accusation was echoed by the renowned Vaticanist Marco Tosatti in a short post also published yesterday. True enough, the rally was distinguished by the absence of bishops (although Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia of the Pontifical Council for the Family sent a message). Edward Pentin's report is kinder in noting that the event "had only tacit support from the Italian bishops' conference", while adding that only a small number of clergy were present. Probably the most prominent Catholic leader at the event was Kiko Argüello of the Neocatechumenal Way, who sang to the crowd and gave a speech that strongly chided Bishop Galantino while telling them that "the Holy Father is with us."

[See also: An Appeal to Prayer for Italy.]