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Italian Pro-Abortionist Speaks in Church; Catholics Ejected

Edward Pentin
In the face of strong opposition, one of Italy’s most notorious pro-abortionists spoke in a Catholic church on Wednesday while pro-life Catholics were locked out, silenced or ejected. Emma Bonino addressed the issue of immigration at the July 26 event, on the feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim, at the Church of San Defendente in San Rocco di Cossato in the Diocese of Biella, northern Italy, (see video here).

meeting

Abortionist Bonino tells Catholics to welcome all immigrants At San Defendante Church

The church had been made available to her by the parish priest, Fr. Mario Marchiori, despite many protests by Catholics and a sit-in aimed at blocking the meeting. The event was sponsored by a local branch of Caritas Italiana, the Church’s aid and humanitarian organization.

Bonino, who supports an open-door policy for migrants, used her talk to promote the overturning of 2002 legislation that tightened Italy’s immigration laws. More than 500,000 migrants have entered Italy in the past three years, putting strain on local services and leading to heated disputes about how many refugees the country should accept.

An Italian radical leftist and human rights activist, Bonino served as Italy’s Foreign Affairs Minister from 2013 to 2014. She had an illegal abortion at the age of 27 and then worked with the Information Centre on Sterilization and Abortion, which boasted of performing over 10,000 abortions carried out using a homemade device operated by a bicycle pump.

Along with the late Radical Party member Marco Pannella, Bonino has long campaigned for civil rights and individual liberty, and fought for the legalisation of abortion and drugs as well as sexual and religious freedoms.

In 2016, Pope Francis praised Bonino as one of Italy’s “forgotten greats” for her work in helping refugees in Africa, saying in an interview that he recognized she thinks differently from the Church. “True, but never mind,” he said. “We have to look at people, at what they do.”

Demographic decline

At Wednesday’s meeting, Bonino, who has fought against conscientious objection rights, told the audience she had agreed to speak in the church “because I come from a practicing Catholic family, but one that taught me to respect the opinion of others.”

She, then, claimed the world is overpopulated because of “poverty in Africa, where they are having children because they are poor” while Italy is facing “demographic decline” (Bonino and others like her believe sterilizing women and providing contraception is the answer).

Cerutti

Alberto Cerutti speaks out against Bonino

Her comment prompted entrepreneur and pro-life activist Alberto Cerutti to interrupt her talk. “I merely said out loud that, with her abortion choices, she is among those responsible for the population decline,” he told Intelligonews, “at which point I was forcibly escorted out of the church.”

Cerutti said afterwards he was incensed that, despite the earlier protests, the meeting went ahead and was used to promote such “propaganda” from the Italian Radical party. He said what happened was “not a war between Catholics, but a clash between believers and secularists” that should “make us think.”

Two other Catholics, Leandro Aletti, a gynaecologist, and Giorgio Celsi of “Ora et labora,” a pro-life group, also spoke out during the event, but their protestations were drowned out by boos and whistles. Present in the audience were several other well known radicals such as Silvio Viale who led the legalization of the abortion pill RU486.

Police meanwhile questioned the group of protesters who had been praying the Rosary outside the church, and asked to see their identification and documents. Aletti said some of the police sided with the protestors.

The organizers reportedly kept the church doors tightly closed throughout the talk so that the sound of prayer would not enter the building.

According to the Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Aletti told Bonino that it was “absurd” to hear her arguments on immigration “from someone who does not accept our children.”

Bonino replied that they were old arguments that didn’t “scare” her. “I remain convinced of individual freedom, no one can tell you what to do, everyone chooses for themselves,” she said.

‘We have no choice’

She, then, went on to say “we have no choice” but to regularize illegal immigrants “unless we want to drown them all in the Mediterranean.”

The head of the local Caritas, Fr. Giovanni Perini, spoke in support of Bonino at the meeting, saying “we have no right to make life difficult for others” and accused anyone concerned about immigration of fueling human trafficking, crime and exploitation. He made no mention of the six million Italian children killed since abortion was legalized in the country in 1978.

priest

Fr. Marchiori introduces Bonino in his parish hall

Fr. Marchiori, meanwhile, has become well known for such controversy (he twice invited pro-euthanasia campaigner Beppino Englaro to speak), but his Bishop, Msgr. Gabriele Mana, remained silent about the event. Despite campaigners making their concerns known to him, and the disclosure that the Bishop did not agree with his priest’s actions, he said he did not want to take sides. He also reportedly made no effort to try to dissuade Caritas from sponsoring the event.

The Register contacted the Bishop’s office for comment, but no one was available to take our call.

Despite the depth of the controversy, it attracted little attention in Italy. For Italian journalist and bioethics expert Benedetta Frigerio, this is because supposedly intellectual civil, political and Church leaders don’t understand the situation, which is visible to “simple, Christian people.”

The Church’s Hierarchy is “very confused,” she said; people follow such leaders and become “ideological and confused themselves.” Others, she said, “feel lost, they don’t have a leader, and so they don’t take action and don’t know how to act.” Those who do fight, she added, are a small group, spread all over the country and, so, have minimal effect.

She believes the faithful and Church leaders are particularly confused on the issue of immigration, in that they believe all migrants must be welcomed..

Frigerio, who writes for La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, told the Register July 28 it was a scandal that those Catholics firmly opposed to Bonino are equated with Islamist terrorist groups and accused of threatening peaceful coexistence. For a Catholic to defend Bonino who is so opposed to the Church, she said, is “really a disgrace.”

A false peace

francis emma bonino

Francis calls Bonino one of Italy's 'forgotten greats'

Such actions, she added, go “against the faith, against Jesus Christ. We’re not able to fight for Him anymore. We’re not able to take on our shoulders the hatred of our enemies, but told to prefer to be at ‘peace,’ to think we are good, that we are loved for our ego, but not able to suffer [for our faith] anymore.” ...

Giovanni Ceroni, president of Italy’s Movement for Life in Biella, told La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana that the ultimate weapon in these circumstances is “the prayer of reparation and adoration of God.”

This article was first published on the National Catholic Register on July 28, 2017

Posted July 28, 2017


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