SSPX ITALY condemns Pope Francis for visiting refugees – UPDATED – distorted news account?

UPDATE 18 July:

There are some comments in the combox which help us get to what SSPX Italy really said.   Take a look and decide if Gazzetta distorted the story.


From Gazzetta del Sud (their translation):

Lefebvrists chide pope over visit to immigrant island

‘Against centuries of defending Italy from Muslim invasion’

Rome, July 16 – The Italian chapter of the Catholic traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) [So, this was not from the SSPX superior, Bp. Fellay.  It is hard to know if he was consulted.]condemned Pope Francis on Tuesday for visiting immigrants and refugees on the island of Lampedusa. In a statement, the Lefebvrist breakaway group criticized the pope for going against centuries of Church efforts to “preserve Catholicism” in the face of the “Mohammedan invasion,” recalling “popes, among whom many saints, who armed fleets to stop the (armed, of course) Muslims in Italy”. [Perhaps a distinction is in order: in centuries past Muslims invaded because they were intent on spreading Islam.  These illegal immigrants are probably not doing that.] Last week Francis chose Lampedusa, an island off the coast of Sicily, as the destination for his first official trip as pope, drawing attention to the plight of thousands who cross the Mediterranean – and the many who die in the process – each year trying to immigrate through Italy. SSPX said the visit reflected the influence of a “Masonic plot to create a multi-cultural society”. [Look.  Masonry in Italy is not what it is in the USA, or even in England.  It is far more virulent, anti-Catholic.  But… read that again.  Sounds pretty weird.] SSPX broke away from the Church over theological differences stemming from the changes it adopted with the Second Vatican Council of some 45 years ago. The Vatican is currently engaged in a process aimed at formally reuniting the group with the Catholic Church.

And this statement really helped that, I’m sure.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I seem to recall the Holy Father meeting with a few Ethiopian fisherman and refugees – hardly the Muslim hoardes. Ethiopians are Christian, Oriental Orthodox and Ethiopian Catholics (Eastern Catholics) mostly.

  2. APX says:

    And this statement really helped that, I’m sure.

    Touché, Pater, touché.

  3. Father, can you please say something more (perhaps in a separate entry) about the Masons, and the way they operate in the USA and the UK? You have mentioned them on occasion in the past, and while the words of the SSPX quoted above suggest something sinister and actively conspiratorial about their operations in Italy, the Masons have never even crossed my radar. What are Catholic perceptions of their activities in the US and the UK? It would be helpful to know.

  4. ladytatslace says:

    “Mohammedan invasion,” really? the refugees look more like poor people trying to find a better life. And where did the Masons come from. There was no reference to them in any of the news articles I read.
    I thought his visit was in keeping with his message to not forget the poor in our midst. It seems to me that his visit could go a long way to convert them to Catholicism if they are not already.
    Sounds like they are looking for another excuse to hold up talks at bringing them back to full Communion with the Church.

  5. brianvzn says:

    I think what brought attention to this trip was the fact that Francis gave Ramadan greetings there, and said he was sure their fasting would bring great spiritual fruits. As we know, Islam is a false religion and cannot bring forth good spiritual fruits. The reference to Masons was made because more and more is being learned about Francis’ beliefs regarding other “religions”. His book with the Rabbi Skorka contains many questionable statements regarding interfaith gatherings, other “religions”, not trying to convert atheists, etc. This makes some believe he is an adherent of religious indifferentism, which is what Masons believe.

  6. Jan B. says:

    I believe the Mason statement might be referring to the thesis that the immigration phenomenom in Europe is a deliberate strategy rather than a happenstance related to Europe’s disasterous fertility rate, a strategy of those whom Christopher Caldwell refers to as ‘the elites,’ in his recent ‘Reflections Regarding the Revolution in Europe,’ a must-read if for nothing else than his observations about the withdrawal of the Church from a previous central role in articulating a morality and ethic for Europe, surprisingly traced by Caldwell (an economist) to Vatican II. We Americans may find it difficult to appreciate how different Europe’s experience of ‘multiculturism’ is from ours, since our immigrants are chiefly from a moral background much more similar to ours than Islam’s to Europe’s. Some problems he cites in sad detail: huge rise in anti-semitism–not theoretical, actual physical attacks as in torturing one Jewish cell phone salesman to death over three days, by three north african youth; increasing calls for sharia law throughout Europe, including polygamy; new Muslim majorities in many major cities (e.g. 60% in Amsterdam) , with disinterest in the expense of maintaining the cultural, artistic legacy of Europe; new school curricula everywhere, as young Muslims are not interested in learning about Europe’s civilization or its builders; continual violent riots; dangerous slums; and most of all, huge hits to wages, a total collapse of the high earnings and generous circumstances of Europe’s native working classes (they were our envy back in the day when we tried our best to get decent living conditions for workers here). It really, demonstrably, has worked for the benefit of some small few, the same 3% here who have gotten richer since the crisis. If SSPX calls them masons, so what. They are sharing a thesis with growing numbers of Europeans in trying to find some way out of the noose they have woven from contraception and abortion and homosexuality, sterile lifestyles that necessitate immigrants, or at least seem to–Caldwell says not, he says on the contrary (huge numbers in Europe have ended up on welfare and besides, it is possible to quantify the contribution and it is miniscule compared to the total European GDP). Better do a little reading on Europe’s diversity problems.

  7. jacobi says:

    “Perhaps a distinction is in order: in centuries past Muslims invaded because they were intent on spreading Islam.”

    This is an emotive issue and therefore some objectivity is called for. The vast majority of cross-Mediterranean would-be immigrants are Muslims.

    In 1960, for instance, the Muslim population of UK was insignificant, circa 0.1%. Today it is 6%+ and growing rapidly, while the declared Christian population is dropping sharply. These trends are greater in France, for instance.

    We stopped Islamic invasion at Tours, Lepanto and Vienna. But the present attempts by Islam to spread into Europe are proving potentially for them, much more successful.

    To see this as just a refugee crisis is naive. There is encouragement, and finance behind it. There are definitely Muslim groups who take a strategic view of these matters, the Muslim Brotherhood being the best known but by no means the only one.

    In such matters we must be as innocent as doves but also, as wise as serpents. Matthew 10:16.

  8. Robbie says:

    Heaven knows I can be less than enthused with some of the things Francis has said and done, but I think the Italian chapter of the SSPX was out of order here. Rather than criticize the Pope’s visit to this immigrant gathering place, they should have focused on the fact the altar, chalice, and lectern used for Mass were made of wood from immigrant ships.

  9. brianvzn says:

    @Robbie They spoke of the lectern, etc. as well. Here is the link. God bless.

  10. servulus indignus Christi says:

    Poor fishermen, yes perhaps…Mohammedan invasion, perhaps a bit dramatic. But if you think that poorly integrated (often because they do not wish to be) Mohammedan immigrants do not serve as a conduit for Islamists who are well aware of the increasing numbers of discontented Mohammedans in Europe then you are kidding yourself. It might not be so disconcerting if the Church were actually engaged in its mandate to evangelize them…but alas it seems that went out of fashion. (perhaps the Gospel ought to be declared in the direction of the South…now there’s liturgical change with meaning) P.s. I’m not really advocating a new Gospel direction.

  11. Priam1184 says:

    I do not deny that there are several groups, some of whom are very well financed, operating in the Middle East and North Africa that would love to convert Europe to Islam via Muslim immigration. Maybe they will someday, but it will have a whole lot less to do with Pope Francis’ visit to Lampedeusa than with the Schengen Agreement that allows people to simply get their feet on dry land in southern Spain or Italy and thereby have free access to the whole continent of Europe. Oh and by the way, if Europe does ever become Muslim it will be because they first ABANDONED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. How many people in Italy have the SSPX brought back to the Church?

  12. Priam1184 says:

    @Michael_Thoma It is about a 50/50 split between Muslim and Christian in Ethiopia.

  13. Cordelio says:

    The actual article in question is posted on the front page of the SSPX Italy website:
    Based on reading a Google translation, the actual article is – unsurprisingly – more nuanced than its summary in Gazzetta del Sud. While the summary does not egregiously misrepresent the parts of the article it describes (as far as I can tell), it might be more edifying for us to see a commentary on the article, itself.

  14. Lin says:

    If ther is any truth to what Brianvzn stated above, this concerns me. We need to pray for our shepards daily!

  15. brianvzn says:

    Lin, the book I mentioned is “On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century“…it was originally published in 2010, then translated onto English and re-released about a month after his election. It is a dialogue between Francis and a Rabbi on various topics. Some things he says are quite encouraging, others left me quite confused. Everyone should read this book. No matter what ones feelings are regarding Francis, this book gives great insight into his thinking.

  16. Fr Jackson says:

    Dear Father Z. With all due respect, you’ve simply reprinted and commented on some really BAD reporting. The article on gazzettadelsud does NOT accurately portray the contents of the article written in Italian by Don Mauro Tranquillo on the website. Just go look. What two commenters above (Robbie and brianvzn) mentioned was actually more like the real meat of the article.

  17. Fr Jackson: From the site Italian SSPX site:

    Se è vero che il primo soccorso, nel pericolo di vita, non può essere negato a nessuno (qualora lo si possa dare), è chiaro anche che non si può sottovalutare il piano massonico di creazione di una società multiculturale, specialmente quando si è Papa e quindi si ha la responsabilità della difesa della fede.

    That’s just from a rapid glance. If I have time later I’ll read the piece more closely.

    I also saw this:

    Nessun invito alla conversione, ovviamente, ma a rimanere fedeli alle loro pratiche religiose, considerate efficaci sulla scorta di Nostra Aetate e del solito modernismo.

  18. Priam1184 says:

    Actually the SSPX got it wrong. Lampedeusa was not Francis’ first foreign trip. No, no, no. Right after he walked off of the balcony of the Apostolic Palace on March 13 he was spirited away by helicopter to Ciampino airport. A waiting Gulfstream paid for by the Bilderbergers flew him to Mecca where he met up with his fellow Masons and they danced around the Ka’aba in the wee hours of the morning with Mohammed Morsi and three Qatari princes while King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia chanted from the Qur’an. And he still made it back to pray at St. Mary Major by 10am the next morning. Oh those crafty Masons. SARCASM

    Actually I do believe that there are conspiracies of evildoers who work (mostly) in the background and it the deep shadows to influence events in favor of their master. We will never know the names of these ones and we rarely see the evidence of their work until far into the game. But the SSPX is being rather dumb on this one.

  19. Hank Igitur says:

    Presumably +Fellay has got a severe case of heartburn right now

  20. JKnott says:

    After reading this unforgettable book by a secular author, on the attempted conquest of Europe and Christianity by the Muslims I think the SSPX may have a point.
    Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World” by Roger Crowley

  21. muckemdanno says:

    The masons are condemned by the Church, and they are all in favor of an all-cultural society. There is no doubt that is true. Massive Islamic immigration does not help to foster a “Catholic Culture” that the conservatives in the Church claim to want…especially when the Pope himself encourages the Muslims to practice their false religion for their spiritual benefit. It is objectively a sin against the first commandment for them to do so.

    In any case, the article you posted, Fr Z, is a completely unfair smear. The SSPX does not “condemn” Pope Francis in particular at all. In fact, they specifically point out that he does qualitatively the same things as the other popes since Nostra Aetate.

    (P.S. – The debate about whether N.A. is itself erroneous, or whether the implementation of N.A. has been and continues to be erroneous is quite irrelevant.)

  22. Fr Jackson says:

    Well Father, let me make an incomplete list of the bad reporting points here:
    (1) There’s no such thing as an “Italian Chapter” of whatever – and the author of the article doesn’t represent the Italian District anyway.
    (2) There was no “condemnation” – it was much more balanced and nuanced than that.
    (3) This article is not a “statement” by the “group” – it’s a wistful little editorial by a priest not in any position of authority.
    (4) There is no way that “non si può sottovalutare il piano massonico di creazione di una società multiculturale, specialmente quando si è Papa e quindi si ha la responsabilità della difesa della fede “ can be translated as “the Pope’s visit reflected the influence of a “Masonic plot to create a multi-cultural society” – that’s just nuts! Come on, Father! It severely misrepresents the meaning of the entire sentence.
    (5) Your second snippet is very a propos, Father, but where is that reflected in the English article that you posted and commented on? Now that was more like the main point of Don Mauro’s article – and completely absent from the bad reporting.
    May I suggest that you start a new category tag for articles trying purposely to misrepresent and sabotage a Rome-SSPX agreement? There’s been more than a few lately: the liberals sense that the wind in Rome is blowing a different direction, and it’s open season on the rapprochement attempted by Benedict XVI.

  23. Clinton R. says:

    Since we are on the topic, how do we square His Holiness’ comment “I also think with affection of those Muslim immigrants who this evening begin the fast of Ramadan, which I trust will bear abundant spiritual fruit. The Church is at your side as you seek a more dignified life for yourselves and your families. To all of you: o’scià!”, with the fact Islam is a false religion that denies the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ? I understand reaching out to the poor and immigrants, and having friendly relations with the various religions, but I can’t understand why the Pontiff of the Church has to make a statement that gives Islam any kind of legitimacy.

  24. Phil_NL says:

    Bad reporting or no, as surely as night follows day, any critisism of islam or immigration in Europe will result in a hatchet job by at least some press, and if you’re unlucky, all of them. This is not new, and that means everyone who want’s to be taken seriously should not give the opposition free ammunition.

    For starters, that means not going alu-head by dragging in the masons. 90% of the population will have never even heard of them, almost all the remanining 10% will think “there we go again”, leaving only your own already converted group as people who will even listen.
    Secondly, it means you don’t time it when a bunch of (most likely) non-muslim refugees determine the picture. There will be plenty of other instances where the point can be made with greater profit.
    Thirdly, it means that you adress the issue in a way that is relevant (refugees are not the primary mode by which islam spreads in Europe. Non-refugee immigration, mainly from Turkey and Marocco, is. As well as conversion)

    When all is said and done, the basics – that islamic immigration is a danger to the Christian character and ultimatly to the freedoms of Europe, and should not be encouraged – is probably a point many can agree upon. But by phrasing it this way, the author of the piece has done his own side a severe disservice. Not in the least because it simply enables the left to see opposition against islamization as the work of conspiracy theorists who went of the road in every conceivable way.

    When you fight, you have to fight well. An untrained soldier on your side is much more dangerous than any enemy soldier, and this is a good example (albeit in a non-military setting)

  25. Fr Jackson says:

    Here is the main thrust of the (real) article in two quick translation snippets:
    “The problem of immigration has always been difficult to approach because to the very real drama of so many individuals in misery is added the the worrying global picture of the dissolution of the Christian identity of Europe…”
    “…Papa Bergoglio, on the other hand, with his trip to Lampedusa, wanted to simplify the question: these are poor miserable people who simply want to come live in the country of rich selfish people who let them die in the sea: and these guilty rich people are all of us. Even if this message could contain a small element of truth, the message still does not do justice to a problem of such grave complications. If it is true that first aid, in danger to life, cannot be denied to anyone (when one is in a position to provide it), it is also clear that one should not underestimate the masonic plan to create a multicultural society – and especially when this one we are talking about is the Pope who has the responsibility of defending the Faith.”

    The author then goes on to deplore (1) the liturgical abuse of the conditions in which Mass was celebrated, and (2) the religious indifferentism promoted by the Pope’s encouragement of Ramadan.
    The conclusion, however, is that these deviations can be linked back to documents of the Second Vatican Council – and that’s the point everyone here seems to be completely ignoring.

    So, in brief, we on a theme pretty dear to Fr Z – the dissolution of Christian identity, but this SSPX author is approaching this in way that Fr Z never would: that the Pope himself is an agent in this dissolution by applying the documents of the Second Vatican Council according to a hermeneutic of rupture.

  26. Peter in Canberra says:

    As with the debate in Australia, there is a lot of emotion here, and I suspect mixing up of apples and oranges.
    A pertinent question regarding the increase in the muslim demographic in Europe, and in other ‘western’ countries is I suggest not so much to do with ‘irregular’ immigration of asylum seekers and refugees but of bona fide entries through the normal channels, including as workers deliberately brought in to fill labour gaps, or in Europe in particular as the bitter fruits of (post?)colonialism.

    Is the maintenance of Christian identity served by demonsing those who are fleeing persecution, of whatever creed or race?

  27. Thank you, Fr. Jackson. Taking your presumably more accurate translation at face value, it would appear that this opinion piece may actually have been a more carefully nuanced commentary (than first appeared) on a very serious problem. And that the Gazzetta de Sud article likely was a distortion intended to throw sand (with some evident success) in any gears that may still be working toward an SSPX rapprochement.

  28. Phil_NL says:

    The thing is, even though Fr Jackson produces the material (and quite reasonable) points of the article, which would potentially carry substantial agreement among many, all the objections I made still pertain as well.

    And those reduce the effectiveness of the piece tremendously; even to the point that instead of helping to convince people, it will reinforce the impression of a bunch of nutters at work. And that is not merely media misrepresentation, it is at least as much the consequence of the unforced errors I analyzed above.

  29. Phil_NL says:

    PS: ‘reasonable’ as in: within the realm you could have a decent discussion about it. I would not want to assume a hermeneutic of rupture on behalf of the Holy Father. But his tenure is brief enough that one could have a reasoned discussion about how to place certain actions, Popes need to find their way in the office as well.

  30. Fr Jackson says:

    For what it’s worth, I think Phil_NL’s point is VERY relevant. It has been a source of constant frustration to me to see “our” position compromised by overstatement.

  31. Michael_Thoma says:

    Priam1184 says:
    17 July 2013 at 4:56 pm

    @Michael_Thoma It is about a 50/50 split between Muslim and Christian in Ethiopia.

    Actually it’s more like 70/30 (Wiki says):

    Ethiopian Orthodox 43.5%, Protestant 18.6% (which include Ethiopian Orthodox Tehadeso Church and the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus), Muslim 33.9%, traditional (2.6%) Catholic 0.7%, all others 0.6%.[3] A small Ethiopian Jewish community also reside in the northern parts of the country although almost all of them have emigrated to Israel.

  32. Cavaliere says:

    Fr. Jackson attempts to criticize Fr. Z’s reporting by pointing out that there is no Italian ‘chapter’ of the SSPX. There is however an Italian District, so kind of a matter of semantics. The fact remains there is a distinct Italian association. Second he points out this is a wistful little a
    editorial written by an unimportant priest in no position of authority. However this wistful piece was published by the official organ of the SSPX in Italy and not in his church bulletin or personal webpage. Therefore it is given an air of credibility by someone in authority at least in the Italian district. If it is so unimportant one word hope that this simple priest would have more to do, like perform his duties in the SSPX which was formed for reasons other than writing wistful editorials criticizing the actions of the Pope.

    I would also point out that the order of Malta has been very active in Lampedusa providing first aid and meeting the needs of the refugees there. The Grand Master has also visited there. I think the SMOM has had a bit more experience fighting against Islam than the SSPX.

  33. jacobi says:

    Taking up Clinton R’s point,

    I too am concerned about the Holy Father’s comments to Muslims in which he, apparently if the translation is right,

    expresses his affection towards Islam and Ramadan
    praises Islam’s spiritual fruits
    offers support
    praises its social effect

    Now that’s all very nice and well. But Christianity is being gravely persecuted throughout the world with increasing legal restrictions by so called democratic governments, but more so by ever increasing violence and murder and population displacement. Where this latter is going on, it is virtually always within the Islamic world, Iraq, Egypt, etc., or on the borders of the Islamic world, as in Northern Nigeria.

    Should not the Holy Father have brought such matters into his comments?

  34. Andrew_81 says:

    @ Cavalierer

    I think we could say it is a bit more than mere semantics. Words carry a particular meaning. PR and rhetoric are all about manipulating language for the nuance of certain terms.

    Chapter is not District. The former implies a loose-knit group of independent people who work together on some level. There may be an authority, but he is not singularly in control. For instance the KofC has chapters (councils). A member does not answer to the authority, but the group as a whole.

    A district, at least for those familiar with the SSPX structure, more closely resembles a diocese or prelature (without a prelate at the head, but structurally similar). There is a singular head (the bishop), and he has direct and complete control (and responsibility) for the official acts, and responsibility over the members (priests, etc.).

    I think it is easy to see how the concept of each might influence the reader. While somewhat synonymous, “Chapter” makes the district appears as a more-or-less unorganized group of priests who have no real authority. If offended by the statements reported, then it is easy to make the SSPX out to be a rag-tag group of disaffected clergy always ready to shoot off their mouth.

    While some SSPX members I know might fit that category, most do not, and even if a less-than-45-year-old organization does have its faux pas, for as young as it is, it’s organization and consistency is impressive.

    Further, a website is meant to provide useful information and news to the audience in question. Fr. Z for instance often publishes parts of articles from other sources, commenting upon them, and putting them forward to us as valuable, but no one here would say that he owns everything that is on this site. If he does not qualify a point, would we really say that he accepts it?

    The article on the SSPX site was an editorial, and was not written by the district itself, nor did it claim to be a district policy statement, but was an informational and news analysis piece. Thus it has to be read in that light. That it was on an SSPX website, indicates that the authority (district superior) either directly or indirectly approved it as worthwhile for the reading of the audience of the website. I can find no indication that this is an “official statement”, so to make it out as such is to distort it.

    If we apply your standard, then everything published on the website of every diocese and parish, and every article in Catholic newspapers, especially those like L’Osservatore Romano should be treated as quasi-official positions. I have read more than a few somewhat questionable editorials in that latter paper, and yet, would never suggest that they represent that Church’s teaching, more poor editorial decisions.

  35. Phil_NL says:

    Fr Jackson,

    Thanks for your kind words. There’s a Dutch saying “gelijk hebben is wat anders dan gelijk krijgen”, which roughly translates that being right does not equal getting the corresponding results. While we would probably disagree on a number of issues, it would help a lot if everyone can at least join in on matters where there we find ourselves in a common battle, and be as effective as possible. Overstatement is a major hurdle to that (And not to say that the SSPX has a monopoly on that, but it does happen an awful lot in those quarters), so I very much sympathize with you on that count.

  36. Priam1184 says:

    After reading this little piece about ‘Masonic plots’ I went back and read Leo XIII’s Humanum Genus, written in 1884. If one looks at the goals of the Masonic movement as outlined by Pope Leo in that encyclical one would have to conclude that the entire last 130 years of religious, social, and cultural history in the Western world have been a Masonic plot…

  37. Cavaliere says:

    @Andrew_81 says, Chapter is not District. The former implies a loose-knit group of independent people who work together on some level. There may be an authority, but he is not singularly in control. For instance the KofC has chapters (councils). A member does not answer to the authority, but the group as a whole.

    However the Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) says,

    In general a chapter may be defined as an association of clerics of a certain church forming a moral body and instituted by ecclesiastical authority for the purpose of promoting the divine worship by means of choir service. If it be a cathedral chapter, however, its principal object is to assist the bishop in the government of his diocese, and the choir service is only secondary. Members of chapters are called canons. There is much more but it never implies some loose-knit group.

  38. Fr Jackson says:

    Hi Cavaliere. I wasn’t criticizing Fr Z’s reporting. You really misunderstood. Fortunately, Fr Z. understood correctly that I was criticizing the reporting made by gazzettadelsud.

  39. Priam1184 says:

    Such passion on this post regarding the difference between chapters and districts.

  40. Fr Jackson says:

    Ah, but if we are a chapter, then I am a canon! wink

  41. Andrew_81 says:

    @ Cavaliere

    Indeed, you point out the definition of a Cathedral Chapter (as Fr. Jackson indicated), but that’s clearly not the meaning intended in the article.

    It is also clearly not what the SSPX is, since a Cathedral Chapter is a group of clerics who publicly sing the office each day in fulfillment of a benefice. The members of the Society publicly recite some of the office as part of their rule, but not as a Chapter does.

    So either the author of the article was wrong, or very loose with his verbiage. If the first, he is not trustworthy, if the later, his trustworthiness is at least in question.

    Of course, that was only a side point. The main thrust of the earlier comment was that we have to be careful not to always interpret content of a website as an official position of the group in question, easy as that is.

  42. Fr Jackson says:

    I emailed the author – the author of the original article on, not the hatchet job on gazzettadelsud – Don Mauro Tranquillo, who happens to be a good friend of mine from seminary days. Here are the comments he had to offer:
    “That was a minor commentary about the visit in Lampedusa. The island in question has a very heavy political meaning in Italy, as the symbol of opposite insights about immigration, and it is a kind of standard for the Left and extreme Left (an hisotrical debate is now going in Italy about granting citizenship according to the principle of jus soli instead of jus sanguinis, and Lampedusa with the pitiful situation of the immigrants arriving on boats is the centre of the campaign). Obviously Fr Z ignored also this aspect of the question, that every Italian reader has in mind. About your comments, it is absolutely true that I have no place of authority (je suis fier, parce que je ne suis rien, as Casanova used to say); but I write under the orders and control of the District Superior, on the official website, according to the rules. So Fr Petrucci responds of every line published in the website, and indeed he reads and approuves (or not) everything before publication. I wrote an article that I dare to believe far more important and profound, . Please tell Fr Z or the newspapers to read this.”

  43. Eric S says:

    The U.S. SSPX district also published this article:

    “In response to an Italian newspaper’s mischaracterization of a commentary published by the SSPX’s District of Italy about Pope Francis’ Lampedusa visit, we offer this summary of what was actually said.

    On July 8, 2013, Pope Francis visited the Italian island of Lampedusa, situated between Sicily and Tunisia, where a multitude of immigrants from North Africa have found shelter for many years and in whose waters thousands of them have met their deaths. The pope’s surprise visit was inspired by the recent shipwreck of a boat carrying immigrants from Africa, which had “profoundly touched” the pope, as explained by the Holy See’s Press Office.

    In response to this event, the SSPX’s Italian District’s website ( published on Tuesday, July 16th an article entitled “Papa Franceso a Lampedusa” (“Pope Francis at Lampedusa”). Written by Fr. Mauro Tranqillo, an Italian SSPX priest, it is a commentary about what occurred during the papal visit to Lampedusa, not a declaration as mischaracterized by a short news piece of Gazzetta del Sud from the southern region of Italy.[1]

    The Society’s critique begins by acknowledging that:

    [T]he problem of immigration is always difficult to approach, because the real drama of so many individuals in poverty overlaps the very disturbing global scenario, with the dissolution of the Christian identity of Europe in a liberal cauldron of diverse cultures…[2]

    Fr. Tranquillo continues to explain that the latter scenario of immigration has led to false religions being placed on the same level as Christianity, which has contributed to religious indifferentism. Furthermore, the problems caused from mass immigration has been aided by liberal agendas (such as the procurement of cheap labor or promotion of a certain diversity of culture – and always anti-Christian it should be noted) which have enabled Muslims in particular to even take control of certain areas and gradually push out Christian culture – thus as the article observes, accomplishing what the armed “Mohammedan invasions” of the past could not.[3]

    Nonetheless, the commentary’s main point is that the Pope – by wishing abundant fruits for Ramadan – does not comply with the first and foremost mission of the Catholic Church which is the conversion and salvation of souls. On the contrary, he stated that a religious practice – Islamic fasting – of a false religion – Islam – can bestow spiritual fruits to souls. Thus Fr. Tranquillo observes that Pope Francis’ visit will simply add to the post-conciliar confusion as expressed by Nostra Aetate and according to the Modernist ideology.[4]
    Father included in his critique a denunciation of the conciliar errors as put in practice by Pope Francis, such as religious liberty for all, the value of salvation of all religions, and that the liturgy must be incarnated in the experience of the community.[5]”

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