The Vatican’s official newspaper accused an Italian comedian on Wednesday of “terrorism” for criticizing the Pope and warned his rhetoric could fuel a return to 1970s-style political violence.
In an unusually strongly worded editorial, L’Osservatore Romano said a presenter of a televised May Day rock concert, which is sponsored by Italy’s labor unions, had launched “vile attacks” on Pope Benedict in front of an “excitable crowd.”
“This, too, is terrorism. It’s terrorism to launch attacks on the Church,” it said. “It’s terrorism to stoke blind and irrational rage against someone who always speaks in the name of love, love for life and love for man.”
At the concert, held every year in front of the Saint John in Lateran basilica — Rome’s cathedral where Pope Benedict sits as bishop — one of the presenters, Andrea Rivera, spoke out against the Pontiff’s stand on a number of issues.
“The Pope says he doesn’t believe in evolution. I agree, in fact the Church has never evolved,” he said.
The surprising thing here is how vitriolic the OR’s editorial was worded. I’d like to see the text myself. It should be remembered that there is a great deal of tension between the Catholic Church and Italian society these days for a variety of reasons mentioned in the coverage linked above/below.
CWNews has its coverage here.
Dom asks the interesting question about the source of funding/sponsorship for the concert, considering it was held right outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
Still, “terrorism” I think was a poor choice of word for the editorial. “Terrorism” is one of those attention-grabbing words nowadays that can denote prettmuch anything one wishes to claim is “really bad.” Heck, wikipedia has a whole page arguing about its strict definition. See Also: tragedy (anything really sad). And for the inverse usage: heroism (anything really good).
How about let’s just say the guy was being a jerk and leave it at that?