29 August: What are people chanting at end of Francis’ General Audience? Is it “VIGANO! VIGANO! VIGANO”?


They could be chanting “VIGANO!”. I scrubbed the audio a little and slowed it down. I am hearing “ITALO!” There was a bishop there, Lucca Italo Castellani. Still, it is hard to tell exactly.   Here is some cleaned up audio, full speed and then .7 speed.  You decide.


There’s a story at Il Foglio that they are chanting “ITALO!”

Here is the video of today’s Wednesday General Audience, 29 August.

You tell me what they are chanting at the end of the audience coverage: 1:04:30

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  1. PetersBarque says:

    Yes, definitely “Vi-gah-NOH!,” (not vi-GAH-no).

  2. SusanMcE says:

    Oh yes, most definitely “vig-ga-noh”!
    Praise be Jesus and Mary!

  3. Johann says:

    I heard Vigano too.

  4. Mario Bird says:

    Tutti mi chiedono, tutti mi vogliono,
    donne, ragazzi, vecchi, fanciulle:
    Vigano, Vigano, Vigano . . . .

    Ahimè, che furia! Ahimè, che folla!
    Uno alla volta, per carità!
    Ehi, Vigano! Son qua.
    Vigano qua, Vigano là,
    Vigano su, Vigano giù. . . .

  5. ChuckShunk says:

    Yeah, probably “Italo”. Darn. Are there enough Roman readers here to organize an actual “Vigano” chant? Or even a “Resign”?

  6. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I hear Vi-gah-nò

  7. BrionyB says:

    Honestly I can’t say. I can hear “Vigano” when that’s what I’m listening for, but, similarly, if I listen for “Italo” then that’s what I hear. It’s as bad as that Yanny/Laurel thing that was doing the rounds a while ago…

  8. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Also, do the crowds often chant visiting Bishops’ middle names?

  9. AnthonyJ says:

    I hear Vigano, but others on my Facebook feed are hearing Italo. I agree with BrionyB. This may turn out to be the new Laurel/Yanny.

  10. Philmont237 says:

    We need to do more of this stuff. We have to be loud, we have to be vocal, we have to be persistent. We need to wage a PEACEFUL version of “The War of the Flea.” Hound the Pope, hound our bishops, hound the press. Don’t let ANY of them forget. The dog can scratch at the flea, but the flea moves around and breeds, increasing its numbers. Once the dog is covered in fleas, and cannot scratch anymore due to exhaustion, then it will die and the flea has won the war. So must we do the same. We win the war when the whole truth comes out, and the Truth will make us free.
    At Papal audiences, chant “Vigano!” and hold signs in support of him. Write your bishops, make appointments and talk to them. At the next USCCB meeting organize a peaceful protest chanting “Vigano!” and holding signs there too. Pope Francis should not be able to step out of his room without the laity reminding him of Vigano. Cease chanting and protesting during Papal Masses, but pray with your whole being. Offer up the Mass for “The Situation,” make your communion for the same intention.
    We can do this, but it is up to the laity. We must be organized, we must be persistent, we must be loud, and we must trust in Our Lord and Our Lady.

  11. scotus says:

    I’m definitely hearing a V at the beginning of the word they are chanting. It’s definitely not an I.

  12. Kent Wendler says:

    I downloaded the chant to the Audacity sound editor and applied various effects to the first 3 repetitions of the slightly amplified part of the chant. I have a 98% confidence that it began with a “Vee” syllable, and not an “Eh”.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    Holy cow! It sounded like “Viganò” to me! Wow…

  14. Lisieux says:

    At normal speed, it could be either. (Actually, it sounded to me like ‘Figaro’ – perhaps a Rossini or Mozart fan club?) But slowed down, I also heard the /v/ at the start of the word. Let’s hope…

    Given the Pope’s address at the audience, I think that he’s going to try and sit this one out, as he’s done with all previous controversies. OK, most Catholics are furious with him – but no one has any power over him. Prayer it is…

  15. Black Jaque says:

    OK. I say it is too difficult to distinguish. In such a case – I would fall back on other evidence. Can anyone offer any reason why a crowd would chant “Italo”? A bishop present by the name Lucca Italo Castellani? So the crowd chants his middle name? Is that common in Italy? Is bishop Catellani a popular guy? Controversial?
    All the evidence I’m knowledgeable about supports the “Vigano” interpretation.

  16. bobbird says:

    Unless Italy has just won the World Cup, why would they be chanting “Italo”? Or, perhaps it is shades of the Great Schism, wherein chanting mobs demanded an ITALIAN pope? They are a little late there. “Vigano” is the only thing that would make sense. The Spin Doctors have some explaining to do about “Italo”. I’m Italian, so when an Italian wants to promo their country, they would be saying “Italia”, as in “ee – TAH – lee – ah”.

  17. Spinmamma says:

    When I listen for Vigano, I hear it. When I listen for Italo, I hear Vigano but concede it is not a certain thing. Why doesn’t someone (one of the intrepid journalists for example) ask people who were part of the crowd to come forward and say what they were chanting?

  18. Black Jaque says:

    Fr. Z in the original post points out that there was a bishop present by the name of Lucca Italo Castellani. So that could be some evidence to support the “Italo” interpretation, however as I posted above they would need to explain a bit more than that. Would it be customary for Italians to chant a person’s middle name? Do they chant “Mario” for Jorge Mario Bergoglio?

  19. ArthurH says:

    At the normal speed the more likely choice between the two is Vigano.

    At the slower speed, there is no question: Vigano

  20. tzard says:

    It’s amazing what the mind can do. Hearing it first, it sounded like ITALO – but when I then listened for Vigano – now I can’t not hear it.

  21. Jann says:

    I also heard ‘Figaro’. Perhaps Vignano. The accent was definitely on the last syllable. But it didn’t seem like ‘Italo’. I think it began with an ‘f” or ‘v’.

  22. Jann says:

    Correction: “Perhaps Vigano.” not Vignano.

  23. Herman Joseph says:

    I know someone who was there, and she was shouting “vigano!”

  24. Danteewoo says:

    I heard “Vigano,” and even if that wasn’t what was being chanted, there’s a good chance that Francis heard “Vigano” as well. He may be hearing it in his sleep.

  25. Legisperitus says:

    This needs to become a thing at every General Audience.

  26. Cy says:

    Maybe it was “lasciato subito”! ?

  27. marcelus says:

    and is it funny?

  28. Legisperitus says:

    It sounds to me as if a few people start chanting “Italo” but are then joined by a larger number saying “Viganò.”

  29. acardnal says:

    “[Listen to] the statement carefully yourselves and make your own judgment.”

    “I am not going to say a word about this.”

  30. clare joseph says:

    Sure sounds like “Viganò” to me.

  31. Ave Crux says:

    I was skeptical but listened with complete neutrality.

    I did NOT hear an “l” before the “o” — as hard as I tried to hear it so as not to fool myself into thinking it was “Vigano”.

    I did hear a “v” and a “g” sound, ending with the “o”

  32. Archlaic says:

    Tried to hear “Italo” but there was only one instance of [whichever word they were actually chanting] that sounded to me like “EE-TAH-LO”, the rest seemed to have a “V” sound at the beginning…

    So – how do they spin this going forward? “The faithful have a new custom which spontaneously appeared, of chanting the middle name of whomever accompanied the Pope at his weekly general audience…” One imagines them frantically scouring directories to find bishops, monsignori, priests… seminarians… Vatican employees… taxi drivers… whose middle names rhyme with “Viganò” and who can get free on Wednesdays!

  33. majuscule says:

    The chant appeared to be coming from a block of people wearing blue t-shirts.

    Did the t-shirts have anything written on them? Who was that group?

    Any photos?

  34. AA Cunningham says:

    If the crowd had been of the same size as they were under the two previous Pontificates it would have been extremely easy to make out “VIGANO!”

  35. jerome623 says:

    Perhaps a mix of Italo and Vigano?

  36. BrionyB says:

    Actually, listening again, I think the earlier rhythmic chanting may be “Italo”, but then a quite different voice seems to call out “Vig-AAAAAH-no” (which I know isn’t the proper pronunciation, but maybe it’s a non-Italian?) at least twice.

  37. HvonBlumenthal says:

    Is Italo the Archbishop’s second Christian name or his first surname

  38. crjs1 says:

    It’s Italo

  39. richiedel says:

    Somebody better copy that video or whatever they do before it gets taken down.

  40. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    I hear Viganó.

  41. sahn105 says:

    Question: why would they chant Italo? Is that normal for people to chant some Archbishops name after an audience? Seems that whenever an audience or group chants it’s because of some reason. On the other hand, a chant of Vigano has tremendous meaning.

  42. DelRayVA says:

    Here’s a protest sign to bring:

  43. Amerikaner says:

    It’s a group from the Fishwrap. They aren’t going down that rabbit hole and instead are chanting “VEGAN – OH!”

  44. Kathleen10 says:

    I heard “Vee-gah-ROH”, so unless the audience were gardeners I believe they were saying “Vigano”.

    Hehe, gotta love the Italians. I think of those posters with real fondness. Can we please have a reprise of that?

  45. MGL says:

    “Vigano”. Heard it this morning on Twitter, again at 0.7x speed here. The “V” and “n” come through loud and clear. If I try really hard, I can hear a couple of them as potentially “Italo”, but only by doing the aural equivalent of one of those “Magic Eye” 3D paintings. Honestly, it sounds much more like “Figaro” than “Italo”.

    But I’d ask the same question as others here: Is it customary for Italians to chant their bishops’ names at papal audiences? Do Italians routinely call each other by their middle names (or first surnames)? Maybe they do. I have no idea.

  46. rdb says:

    It is the Bishop of Lucca and his name is either Benvenuto Italo Castellani or Italo Benvenuto. I would go either way but to my ear, the NO at the end comes out very clear.

  47. defenderofTruth says:

    I read elsewhere that in Italy, many Catholics have been ignoring the pope’s pet causes like immigration, mainly because they see it harming their families and communities. Given that trend (be it strong or not), the Vigano Testimony would serve only to strengthen their disillusionment with Francis. “Vigano!”, as mentioned by commenters, has a clear message to it, and makes more sense than “Italo”. The press corps need to find more archbishops whose names rhyme with Vigano to appear with Francis.

  48. Hey, for that matter, people could shout “Figaro! Figaro!”
    It’ll get the message across.

  49. Lux de Coelo says:

    The Vatican spokesman Greg Burke will no doubt clarify that the crowd was in fact chanting ‘Origano, Origano’ when the Pope asked them about the key ingredient in a popular Italian dish (of how to cook the books)

  50. maternalView says:

    I’m guessing, after this makes its way around the world, that at the next general audience we might hear a more definitive pronunciation!

  51. John Pomeroy says:

    Just watched it on Ingraham show and it was Vigano. No doubts

  52. Bosco says:

    Perhaps they will be more clear after the next general audience and the next and the next.

  53. Gab says:

    Why would they be shouting “Italo” at an Argentinian pope?

  54. Amerikaner says:

    Upon further analysis it appears to be “LATINO!”

  55. Lisieux says:

    Thanks, everyone, for the first true laughter I’ve had since this whole sordid affair began!

  56. granitroc says:

    Sounds like Vigano’ to me too.

  57. Black Jaque says:


    Yep Cardinal Cupich confirmed it! They are chanting “LATINO!”

  58. Brian Cannon says:

    I don’t put a whole lot of stock into names that crowds shout out. Luke 23:18

  59. Cradle Catholic says:

    Mundabor, who is an Italian living in the UK has listened to the chanting, and says it’s Vigano


  60. MaryW says:

    Definitely Vi-ga-NOH.

  61. Jennie Prater says:

    I believe they were saying “Vigano” because they were putting the accent on the last syllable. The word “Italo” is accented on the first syllable. All this would have been clear if people would have heeded Father Z regarding how to pronounce the former nuncio’s name.

  62. Semper Gumby says:

    Sounds like “Vigano.”

    Philmont237: Interesting idea.

  63. Pingback: Rumor Volat: Shouts in the piazza during Sunday Angelus Address | Fr. Z's BlogFr. Z's Blog

  64. Fr. Kelly says:

    I just cued uo the CTV coverage and there are two distinct times of chanting. After Pope Francis introduces Bishop Lucca, his supporters, wearing green shirts begin to shout “Italo” (but here I am hearing some shout ” Vigano” as well. this happens about 1:01 30.
    At the very end after the blessing, there is another, longer instance of the chant, and this time, to my ears, it is definitely “Vigano”

    Maybe the shouting of “Italo” brought to their minds to shout “Vigano”, but they kept to it afterwards.

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