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The Roman Catholic World

by Marielena Montesino de Stuart

THE WANDERER – December 17, 2009 Edition “Cardinal Said to Be Too Concerned with Muslims” (pg. 6) by Marielena Montesino de Stuart (originally published under the title “The Roman Catholic Church in a Socialist World”)

This article appeared on page 6 of The Wanderer’s December 17, 2009 edition, under the title of Cardinal Said to Be Too Concerned with Muslims. It was available online at 1:00PM Eastern Time on Friday, December 11, 2009.

Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan

On March 14, 2009 the Archbishop of Milan, Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi turned 75.  Cardinal Tettamanzi presented his resignation to the Holy Father, in accordance with canonical norms.

Benedict XVI responded by accepting  Cardinal Tettamanzi’s resignation donec aliter provideatur (until otherwise provided) – with the condition that he continue as Archbishop of Milan for another two years.   This has prolonged the social and political challenges that Tettamanzi faces.

In an increasing socialist secular world, the lines between the Church’s “social justice” teachings seem at times to converge and at times to collide with the socialist environment.

Case in point:  Dionigi Cardinal Tettamanzi is being accused by the Northern League party in Italy of openly supporting Islam, Roma gypsies and other immigrant groups, while not showing enough support for Italian Christians.

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State for the Vatican

The Vatican Secretary of State, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone was joined by Italy’s President, Giorgio Napolitano (a former leader in the Italian Communist Party, which later became the Democrats of the Left) in defense of Tettamanzi.  (I’m NOT surprised!). Cardinal Bertone said that “the Church is essential in social issues” and asked for respect for Cardinal Tettamanzi.

But the Northern League disagrees.  It  does not feel that Rome is doing enough for Christians in Italy—and has even referred to Cardinal Tettamanzi’s behavior as one of a  “secret communist” for supporting Islamic prayer spaces in Milan.  The Northern League has further denounced a recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, ordering that crucifixes be removed from Italian classrooms.

Giorgio Napolitano, President of Italy (a former leader in the Italian Communist Party)

With Italian Christians disappearing as a culture because of extremely low birth rates and increasing immigration, it is evident that they feel threatened by an expanding Islamic and non-Christian population.

How will Rome answer the needs of the Italian Christian community—while enforcing its teachings on “social justice”?

It is easy for Roman Catholics in America to concentrate on what is happening within our borders, given the grim situation that we are facing as a nation; however, the Vatican is the center of our Church, and it is important that we observe how it reacts to the social and political challenges of its own region.


Marielena Montesino de Stuart

Marielena Montesino de Stuart is an observer of the Roman Catholic world.  She expresses her views as a journalist for The Wanderer and for www.TheRomanCatholicWorld.com .  

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