Winners and losers

Today was "Family Day" in Rome and it was a huge, vast, mind-blowing success.  It was lay organized and attended. 

It would have been a success, according to the organizers, had over 100,000 people come to St. John Lateran for the event.

The last report I heard was that over 1.7 MILLION people showed up.

The importance of this event is not merely that when left to their own devices the Italian people will support traditional values in great numbers, giving the lie to the script presented by the intellectuals in the press.  It also means in concrete terms that the traditional values laity can organize and achieve results.

On the other hand, at Navona was the "counter-demonstration" manifestly in favor of same sex marriages and civil unions etc.  What it really was about was hatred of the Catholic Church. 

NB: The Italian bishops said that this "Family Day" was to be entirely lay run and attended, though priests were not forbidden to go.

I went down to the Navona to see what the enemy was doing.  It is nearly under my window, so I don’t have to leave my room to hear what they were whining about.

I mean whine too.

There were maybe, maybe a thousand people there. squeezed into about 1/4 of the piazza, in front of a huge stage where someone is perpetually literally screaming into a microphone.  When I arrived they were whining that RAI 1 and 2 (Italian television) were not giving their demonstration as much air time.


All around were "the element" sporting new USSR shirts and images of things no one should have to see.  Many of them looked like they needed detox… and lots of hospital care.  I think I don’t need to go into detail. 

The Italian press says some 20,000 showed at Navona.  B as is B! S as in S!!!!  Folks reporting back to me all day said they thought there were maybe hundreds, maybe a thousand, maybe two, depending on the time of day.  If all day they had 20k go through turnstiles I would be surprised.

In any event these xxxxx xxxxxxxx are going to be below my window till midnight.

On the other side of town however….

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Luca says:

    Grazie, Padre, per la partecipazione con cui segue le vicende italiane.

  2. L’onore è tutto mio.

  3. I see that some of the English-language news outlets are talking about “tens of thousands” attending Family Day when the initial police estimates over at the Lateran were expressed in terms of hundreds of thousands. I’m not sure I can quite believe 1.7 million, though…
    BTW, why ‘Family Day’ and not something in Italian? Also, I note that the secularists demonstration is called Coraggio Laico – my slightly tongue-in-cheek translation – Lay Pride.

  4. ThomasMore1535 says:

    Just watch–the New York Times, or as Fr. Z. so rightly describes it, Satan’s Bible, will under-report this, or possibly not even report it at all.

    They’ve down-played the annual March for Life in D.C. for years, and there’s no reason to suppose this will be any different.

  5. Andrew says:

    Reminds me of comments I’ve read some time ago of a homosexual activist reminiscing about the early days of the “movement” – how they were all scared not knowing what to expect when they first proposed their demands publicly. And when they saw that the politicians were scared they felt encouraged.

    It is vital to make these people understand that we will not be intimidated by them. Never be rude, always be charitable, but be firm and stand for reason calmly. It’s great to see that so many are willing and brave enough to take a stand. Bravo and Deo Gratias.

  6. Londiniensis says:

    The BBC’s news website has hundreds of thousands (between 500,000 and 1.5 million) of what it calls “pro-family” protesters (their quotes) turning out, whereas ‘ … hundreds of activists attended a counter-demonstration supporting the law nearby, in Rome’s Piazza Navona … ’. However you try to spin it, and it is very clear from the article which side the reporter prefers, the facts are stated clearly.

  7. Seumas says:

    Bottom line:

    Our side = big

    Their side = small

  8. Zach says:

    If that’s the bottom line, then how come is seems as if their side is getting all the breaks?

  9. Nihil says:

    Hate to be the proverbial pooper of parties, but I find it hard to believe any seven-figure estimate, considering that Piazza S. Giovanni can hold between 150.000 and 200.000 people (depending on how generous you want to be in counting church steps and the like – this was a calculation I remember from a few years ago, when a Communist rally was held in the same piazza and their claims were swiftly debunked).

  10. Guy Power says:

    The LA Times is quoting “tens of thousands”, “hundreds of thousands”, “1.5 million
    [organizer’s figures]”, and “250,000 [earlier police reports].” No mention of the counter-protest.,1,94593.story?coll=la-headlines-world

  11. Teresa Polk says:

    Look at the photos. The people were not just in the Piazza, but all the way down the block and beyond. The 150,000 to 200,000 actually in the piazza appear to have been only a fraction of the total number in the crowd.

  12. Seumas says:


    The relative numbers at demonstrations don’t necessarily reflect the true numbers. It just depends on who is zealous enough for their cause to show up. Nevertheless, our side is more numerous than most know (since their side controls the media).

    Why do they get the breaks? Well, their side are in enough positions of power (government, media, intelligentsia, etc.) to pull a lot of strings; meanwhile, many on our side sit around keeping their mouth shut and not getting involved.

    Also–and by no means secondarily–not enough good Catholics are praying and doing penance.

    Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Her message then is just as important today. Prayer and penance, prayer and penance, and then more prayer and penance. What the angel told the three shepherd children to do, we should be doing–that is, offering everything as a sacrifice, saying:

    “Oh Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

    We should also be praying the rosary every day, and offering these and similar prayers often:

    “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the sacrileges, outrages and indifference by which He Himself is offended. And through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

    “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee. I ask pardon of Thee for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love Thee.”

    It wouldn’t hurt, also, if we set aside two or more days a week to fast and abstain. Fridays, our normal day of penance in honor of Christ, and perhaps Saturdays in honor of the Blessed Virgin. Two days of fast in a row also makes the penance greater.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

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