The new Secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), Bishop Nunzio Galantino, has given an interview to the Italian monthly Sempre in which he says recent accusations against him were “an aggression that in reality hurt me.”
He was referring to reaction to his comments he made recently in which he said he did not identify “with the inexpressive faces of those who pray the Rosary outside clinics.”
The CEI’s Secretary said that the reaction was a misunderstanding due to media manipulation.
“The interview in question was born in a specific context: the influence that the social media has. On that occasion I said we should be careful, especially with television, in which only images are used that help to support personal theories. I gave as an example those that focus on the most inexpressive faces of [persons] praying the Rosary against abortion in front of clinics,” he explained.
It is a media method that “intends to belittle not only the Rosary prayed in front of a clinic, but also the great and extraordinary movement that is behind it,” he said.
Instead, his was an admonition to be on guard against similar manipulation. Therefore, the interview’s statement, taken out of context, was the source of the misunderstanding.
“Sometimes the exponents of certain movements of ours don’t read the whole interview, but only the headline of the newspaper, which obviously is especially interested in choosing only an expression that scandalizes and causes problems. This is how 10,000 Tweets begin or 15,000 posted on Facebook against Bishop Galantino,” explained the prelate.
In the context of the criticisms leveled against him, CEI’s Secretary said he was “struck” by the malice of certain persons who say they pray the Rosary. “It is worrying to know that one who prays the Rosary is then capable of expressing himself in these tones, with this verbal violence,” he said.
In the course of the interview, Bishop Galantino also talked about Father Oreste Benzi, who was the pioneer of the prayer of the Rosary in front of abortion Clinics. “He was in my parish to hold some meetings organized for the feast of Saint Louis,” he recalled. He described those times as “a gift for our parish.” He said he also met him other times. “The last time was at Cologne during the 2005 WYD [World Youth Day] where we made a selfie ante litteram,” said Bishop Galantino. I am very moved by the photo. I have put it in a book that celebrates the centenary of my parish. I remember Father Oreste especially as a man of prayer and a man of action.”
Finally, Bishop Galantino talked about what he considers the country’s most urgent problems: the family and young people. “The family is enduring an ideological aggression and does not receive attention or resources,” he said. “Young people, who are the present and not the future of our society, need answers. Unfortunately, politics and even sometimes the ecclesial organizations, are not concerned about their frustrated hopes and don’t consider the strength and great expectations they nourish inside. If such instances don’t find confirmation, unfortunately they turn elsewhere … from which the problems of drugs and hardships are born.”