These days, comments about the Italian Prime Minister’s “heavy” words, following the vote of confidence given to the law on civil unions, have gone viral. For the culture of the Italian people, whether we like it or not, it has been a radical U-turn on the path of our parliamentary republic. A change of course that has been long advocated by the so-called progressivism, disguised as pro-European adjustment, invoked only when culture and customs need a tug, to the detriment of a conception of the person, which is not limited to the immanent. The current Italian government interprets this Europeanism in a fundamentalist, dogmatic, and sectarian way, which has immobilized Italy’s development and its leadership for a Europe of the peoples.
Did Italy need the law on civil unions? Can we define Europe as democratic, if it removes dialogue, erases national sovereignty, and impose a single thought and a single language, which goes beyond culture, lifestyles, and ethical visions of non-negotiable values of a country and of a community, in the name of a false unity between Member States?
We can on and on rehearsing on this subject, but the real problem consists in understanding how did Renzi manage to reach this goal, despite people who opposed it, going out in the streets, such as the Family Day and the people in defense of the family, of the many families that had taken action, as a reaction of a nation that has long had a total civil anesthesia.
In my humble opinion, the political action of the Catholic world in the last decades of total diaspora, has left large gaps, where the Heads of Government who followed one another till Renzi at present, have freely sailed on routes marked by lobbies and powerful groups, including international ones, for the absence of a strong and determined action of the Catholic thought on issues that concerned the life and cultural and moral elevation of Italy, just as important – perhaps even more – than economy, compared to other European countries.
Someone took advantage of a kind of selective “dumbness” of the Catholics to introduce devastating changes and ideologies disguised as claims for rights, which have imposed a new anthropological face.
Cardinal Bagnasco recalled Aldo Moro in his report to the Assembly of the Italian Bishops Conference: “May Europe rediscover its soul and love towards peoples and nations. May it finally meet people, who are not ‘pawns’ on whom a bunch of ‘illuminatos’ claim to decide or make experiments; nor are they stateless, since everyone belongs to a history, has a vision of life and basic values. Europe should understand that being a European does not mean to enter the limbo of the single thought. Laws and agreements are necessary, but they are not the spirit of a continent, I assume.”
Are we going to get out of this new Tower of Babel, which serves the interests of a few, who claim to decide on the fate of many people, trying to find a really common language, rather than get bogged down in unnecessary and painful controversies, where there is very little communion and conversion? Above all, will we, Catholics, manage to slough off some of the arrogance and pride disguised as “misappropriation” of values and ideals, mistaken for a quest for the common good, which has produced no other fruit but the one suggest by the divider?
Hence, Catholics involved in politics have to urgently perform a “pruning” of the dead branches “because sap has been wasted for years”, to restore communion between the brothers and sisters in Christ, with the blessing of a united Church. May the Holy Spirit descend and renew this Church with mostly secular saints. Today. Now, it is time. May it open the hearts of the true believers called to political action, because Christ alone is the center of unity, not our parish, an association or a growing community, nor even a high priest.
The action of Catholics in politics must be an expression of redeemed humanity, which raises the choices and the actions of the citizens towards the true Good, in the shape of the needs of a dignified daily life. The non-Catholic politician may not talk about Jesus in his public speeches, but he will simply make Him present and visible in his words and actions for the serene life of the country, in the service of justice and truth, in defense of the weakest. To make this possible, it is essential to maintain our identity as a bulwark of democratic perspective, without losing sight of the richness of the other countries, which will collaborate for a humanist Europe with a rich cultural and economic heritage and rich values.
If we manage to understand this task for Catholics, not through our will – whose failure we have often witnessed in recent times -, but through the will of the Lord, through His Spirit, then the situation will change.
If Renzi is allowed to “rejoice” – indifferent to the admonishments of the Head of the Italian Bishops and much of the Italian people – and thus demonstrate the abstinence, moral and cultural, of the redeemed humanity we should achieve, and expressing total submission to powers that have nothing to do with love, dedication and service to the common good and to our nation, it happens because we, Catholics, lose energy in opposing marginal issues. Thus, we have made room for the devastation of the anthropological vision that is the basis of our common faith, culture, and ethics. His “game” is an easy one, where he perceives political weakness, as long as he is allowed to play it.
Vice President of the People’s Solidarity Federation
National Councilor and member of the Italian Catholic Teachers’s Association, of the National Council of Lay Associations, and of the Italian Bishops Conference