With a sad biretta tip to Nihil obstat:
…says, "Thank God I am an atheist". It depicts a photoshoped image of partisans shooting the Pope and some muslim men at prayer. Another poster depicts Benedict XVI shaking hands with Adolf Hitler with the title: "From Hitler’s soldier to God’s soldier".
Christ died and rose for these people too.
Meantime, on the evening of the Easter Vigil in Modena there will be a public concert in the square in front of the cathedral by a manifestly anti-clerical band. In one of their their oft-repeated songs we are entertained by the lyrics,
"«Bruceremo le chiese e gli altari (…) con le budella dell’ultimo prete impiccheremo il Papa (…) Rivoluzione sia guerra alla società (…) Il Vaticano brucerà con dentro il Papa e se il governo si opporrà rivoluzione» … "We will burn the churches and altars … we will hang the Pope with the entrails of the last priest … Let revolution be a war on society… The Vatican will burn with the Pope inside if the government opposes the revolution."
"Crucifige! Crucifige eum!"
In Italy, in small and very subtle ways you will encounter anticlericalism, not usually of this vitriolic nature, but it is deeply entrenched in some strata of society. It could be fanned into a flame with some effort.
At the heart of this business is the concept of the "lay state". The concept of the "lay state" in Europe is based on the same state envision in the French Revolution, which resulted in the Terror. The idea of "separation of Church and state" in the USA is a far cry from this European lay state vision.
In the meantime, here are comments of the aforementioned Nihil Obstat (in Italian):
"Behold the fruits of the ‘lay’ state and the campaign of hatred against the Church … Will there ever come a day when the Bishops grasp that the true enemies of the Church are not after all the supporters of the Tridentine liturgy, but rather those who hate Our Lord and struggle against His Kingdom? Is this the highly extolled laicality? Shouldn’t these be the ventures to boycot rather than dig in the heels against the Motu Proprio?"
We have all seen the wrong people hammered into the floor by authorities of different kinds, whether of the First or the other Estates. N’est-ce pa?
"Know thy enemy" might be as critical as "Know thyself". They often overlap.