Never before a Pope spoke with so much annoyance about an elected of the Roman people, the city of which he is the Bishop; that “Have I made myself clear?” he addressed the journalists with was a message for the Institutions. We cannot handle a Jubilee if the capital city of Italy, during the EXPO, will be at the center of the world’s attention, with a mayor ready to put spokes in wheels, provoke, and find a way to embarrass the Holy See.
Therefore, it is no coincidence that Ignazio Marino’s resignation from the post of mayor of Rome comes after one “grave” incident that occurred these last days. To blaming the dinners paid with the Municipality’s credit card for Marino’s exit from the scene would mean to look at the finger that points to the moon instead of the satellite itself. The last episode, that is, the words the Pope said with eloquent firmness during the flight from Philadelphia ( “I have not invited the mayor Marino. Have I made myself clear? I did not do it. I asked the organizers, and they did not invite him either. He came, he professes himself to be a Catholic, he came here spontaneously. This is what happened” ), are not the first sign of tension Francis shows towards the mayor, but they represent the coup de grace to the credibility of a a mayor who had been already dumped by his own party, in conflict with all the Roman contexts (beginning from the civil servants), put under a commissioner by the Government and left in his place only for electoral calculation, that is, not to leave the city to the right wing or worse – from a Renzian point of view- to Beppe Grillo’s followers.
Marino – who has never been valued by his party, not even during the election campaign that brought him to the Capitol with 63% of consensus – has scientifically provoked the Vatican with a series of interminable insults. From the registration at the Capitol of gay marriages contracted abroad, announced in concomitance with the extraordinary Synod on the family, up to titling a square near the Colosseum, in the center of the capital, after Martin Luther, the father of the protestant reformation which gave way to the schism with the Catholic Church. Thus, the Vatican took for an unbearable mockery all the previous attitudes of false friendship.
Yet, things were quite different at the beginning. Bergoglio, as a true “Bishop of Rome”, has always done his best – at least initially – to manifest a spirit of collaboration and friendship towards the mayor of the capital, that is of his own diocese. No public event took place without them exchanging warm hugs and fraternal handshakes. But the Holy Father’s friendliness was “used” by the mayor as a lightning rod for controversies, to the point of being manipulated so as to prove Vatican’s endorsement of the city’s policies on sensitive issues. Arrogance and haughtiness do not pay off; Marino’s attitude was that of a person who wanted to conquer Rome. Thus, comes to mind Pius VII’s answer to the French officer who, after having entered the Quirinal Palace on July 5,1809, intimated the Papal State to renounce its lands: “We cannot. We do not have to. We do not want to”. And Ignatius is not Napoleon.