Several days ago, the Catholic Pope’s “right-hand man” apparently left countless people stunned after tweeting against a crucifix bill that would require all public institutions in Italy to have a crucifix, which many individuals view as a symbol of “shared history” and “culture,” displayed somewhere on the premises.
According to the Pope’s adviser, such legislation, which would reportedly fine those who fail to comply up to $1,170 if passed, is allegedly blasphemous and offensive because it supposedly removes the religious element from the symbol, which many would claim is absurd.
Specifically, Father Antonio Spadaro, a liberal Jesuit who works under Pope Francis at the Vatican as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Secretariat for Communications, recently published a tweet criticizing a bill requiring the display of a crucifix at every public institution that had been proposed by the Northern League, which is a right-wing populist group within the country.
“The cross is a sign of protest against sin, violence, injustice, and death. It is NEVER a sign of identity,” explained the adviser to the Pope.
“[It] shouts love to the enemy and unconditional welcome. It is the embrace of God without defenses,” he continued before exclaiming, “hands off!”
Usare il #crocifisso come un #BigJim qualunque è blasfemo.
La croce è segno di protesta contro peccato, violenza, ingiustizia e morte. Non è MAI un segno identitario. Grida l’amore al nemico e l’accoglienza incondizionata. È l’abbraccio di Dio senza difese. Giù le mani! pic.twitter.com/0fxBJZLY8B
— Antonio Spadaro (@antoniospadaro) July 24, 2018
Spadaro’s reasoning, however, appears to be terribly misguided. The proponents of the legislation aren’t treating the religious symbol like a team emblem.
Rather, they’re simply recognizing that the crucifix is not just a symbol of Christianity but also “a symbol of civilization and Christian culture in its historical roots, independent of a specific religious confession” and a “symbol of a history shared by an entire people.”
Moreover, by claiming that the crucifix shouts “unconditional welcome,” Spadaro appeared to also be taking a subtle jab at Matteo Salvini, the country’s far-right interior minister and member of the Northern League, since he has been extremely outspoken about the refugee and immigration problems reportedly plaguing the country.
Last month, for instance, Salvini reportedly tried to stop two ships operated by Mission Lifeline, which is a migrant rescue group based in Germany, from dropping off more than 200 people who were supposedly taken aboard the rescue ships after they were allegedly found floating in small rubber boats off the coast of Libya.
“Foreign NGO boats will never touch Italian soil again,” reasoned Salvini, who urged them to send the people back to Libya instead, in an online post that was published last month.
“They provide an incentive and encouragement for the departure of the death boats,” argued the interior minister, adding, “[they] will only see Italy on a postcard.”
Unfortunately, though, the ships were ultimately allowed to enter the Italian ports and drop off the immigrants, which potentially endangered the lives of countless Italian citizens since it’s not terribly uncommon for an immigrant or refugee from another country to possibly bring diseases, harm others, and otherwise destroy the culture.
Last month, for example, a 30-year-old asylum seeker in Belgium who had previously been deported and banned from the country for six years was sentenced to only four years in prison for reportedly abducting and then repeatedly raping a 19-year-old mentally disabled woman over the course of three days. Alarmingly, he allegedly kidnapped and sexually abused her in a desperate attempt to avoid deportation by impregnating her with a so-called “anchor baby.”
And shortly before that, Karam Majdi, a migrant in the United Kingdom (UK), was purportedly found guilty of viciously raping a young schoolgirl and subsequently sentenced to merely three-and-a-half years behind bars. Apparently, Majdi, who is believed to be a 19-year-old man from Egypt, reportedly managed to sneak into the UK by pretending to be a child from Syria seeking asylum.
Prior to that, three Afghan immigrants in Canada were apparently convicted of “honor killing” four other members of their own family. Consequently, the three immigrants, 58-year-old Mohammad Shafia, his 41-year-old wife Tooba Yahya, and their 20-year-old son Hamed, were all sentenced to prison and will be removed from the country if they’re ever released.
And several weeks before that, an unidentified 23-year-old Afghan asylum seeker was reportedly taken into custody by law enforcement officials in Austria after he allegedly went on a violent stabbing spree and attacked four different people. Stunningly, after being arrested, he purportedly blamed his actions on being addicted to drugs and being in a “bad mood.”
Before that, Abu Marwan, a 41-year-old refugee from Syria, was reportedly arrested by police officers in Germany for allegedly killing his 37-year-old wife by stabbing her “four or five times in the neck.” Apparently, he allegedly did so because she wanted to divorce him and marry a Lebanese man.
Without a doubt, when the crucifix bill is put into perspective, many would recognize that there are other more pressing issues facing the country, like immigration. Unfortunately, though, based on his ludicrous tweet about the pro-crucifix bill, Father Spadaro doesn’t seem to understand this.