TRIESTE, Italy (ChurchMilitant.com) - A courageous cleric has become Italy's only priest to publicly stand with oppressed workers conscientiously objecting to vaccine mandates.
Thousands of protestors in the port of Trieste — the epicenter of current vaccine protests — cheered Fr. Floriano Pellegrini as he addressed striking dockworkers in the town square last Tuesday and led them in the recitation of the Lord's Prayer.
The outspoken 65-year-old cleric from the northern Italian diocese of Belluno-Feltre, who said his bad knees do not allow him to kneel, climaxed his oration by asking the crowd to kneel and himself kneeling as he blessed the crowds to rounds of thunderous applause.
"I get down on my knees before God and God alone," Pellegrini said, pausing his blessing in the name of "almighty God," wagging his finger and reminding demonstrators that "only God is almighty, not [Prime Minister] Draghi [and] not [President] Mattarella."
In an interview (see below) with Church Militant, Pellegrini blasted Pope Francis for committing "a great sin and a terrible abuse of his papal authority" by pushing the abortion-tainted jab.
"God is not happy with Cdl. Mario Bergoglio, whom I also acknowledge as the pope, and with his support for the New World Order. And, of course, He is not happy with the bishops, including cardinals, and priests who support him," Pellegrini lamented.
Pellegrini's video addressing the workers in Trieste has gone viral on social media and Italian blogs but has been blacked out by the mainstream media and Catholic establishment media — including Avvenire (the Italian Episcopal Conference's news media) and Vatican News.
Speaking to Church Militant, Vatican whistleblower Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò said he was "able to listen to Fr. Floriano Pellegrini's speech in the square of Trieste on Oct. 19."
Viganò, who first addressed dockers in Trieste last week through a message read by protest leader Stefano Puzzer, commended Fr. Pellegrini's intervention in the freedom movement:
I can only praise and encourage this good priest, on whose words all should carefully meditate. As others have pointed out, this is the first time in recent Italian history that the people protest not under the insignia of the hammer and sickle or trade union flags but by holding the Rosary and showing sacred icons.
This awakening of Christian identity is culpably ignored by a hierarchy that prefers to be the spokesperson for the globalist Great Reset rather than defending the sacrosanct rights of the faithful and of the Italians. This desertion by the Italian bishops, with which the social Magisterium of the Church is canceled, goes hand in hand with the betrayal of the civil authority, confirming the complicity of the deep church with the deep state.
Earlier, the archbishop of Trieste, Giampaolo Crepaldi, issued a press statement expressing "growing concern" over the "evolving situation" and calling for "dialogue," "mutual listening" and a "noble and disinterested discernment."
Faithful Catholics from Trieste told Church Militant that Crepaldi, who founded the Cardinal Van Thuân International Observatory on the Social Doctrine of the Church, "failed to even follow up on his empty words, which seem to echo the buzzwords of Pope Francis."
At the archbishop's behest, three priests and two deacons from the archdiocese led the faithful in praying the Rosary at the Church of St. Anthony the Wonderworker near the city center so that "peace might return to Trieste."
However, in a lecture in Bologna on Sept. 18, Crepaldi warned that the Catholic Church must not confuse "health" with "salvation" and asked if the Church had failed to acknowledge the right of personal consciences during the current COVID-19 crisis.
"It seems only right to recognize that, from attempts at surreptitious persuasion to the distortion of basic information, much has been done to prevent consciences from expressing responsible judgment," Crepaldi said, not mentioning vaccine mandates.
Meanwhile, at the freedom rally, Fr. Pellegrini said he would bless everyone "including the police, for we don't have enemies but only people who take advantage of their offices."
Significantly, the priest and people prayed the standard version of the Lord's Prayer ending with "lead us not into temptation" (not the revised version forced on the laity by Pope Francis and the Italian bishops, which changes Jesus' words to "do not abandon us to temptation").
In September, Pellegrini wrote an open letter to the Italian bishops noting that "for a year and a half, the overwhelming majority of the Italian Catholic faithful have been disconcerted and scandalized by your incomprehensible silences, by your not knowing how to show us a path of faith anymore."
"You seem, to all intents and purposes, salt that has lost its flavor and, as Christ says, 'worth nothing else but to be thrown away and trampled on by men,'" he wrote. "You have succumbed in almost everything to what the Italian government was asking of you and continues to suggest to you" and "have transformed the Church from divine reality to society manipulated by a government."
Pellegrini blasted the bishops for forcing the faithful to take an injection created by cooperating with an "intrinsically homicidal act" and to wear a "rag that is proven to be not only useless but harmful to health."
"Why have you become so cowardly, condescending and childishly subservient to the Italian government? Are you compromised? Are you blackmailed? ... Are you transforming us into a State Church, like the Chinese communist regime?" the priest asked.
On Friday, the Confederation of Triarii issued a press statement praising "the image of strong, free men in prayer aiming at resisting the outrageous use of governmental force."
"On the other hand, almost the entire 'Catholic' world is silent, when not siding with those who, abusing the law, use force to repress our people's rightful outcry," the statement said.
The confederation commended "free and courageous priests" led by "the voice and prayer of Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, who rightly spoke about the eternal struggle between good and evil."
Italian police attacked dock workers with water cannons, tear gas and batons as the workers prayed the Rosary and protested draconian vaccine mandates in the port city of Trieste last Monday, Church Militant reported.
Church Militant's interview with Fr. Pellegrini follows:
Church Militant: How did you decide to address such a controversial protest rally when all the bishops and priests have been silent and even supporting the health dictatorship?
Fr. Floriano Pellegrini: That morning, three friends said to me, "Let's go to Trieste; do you want to come with us and maybe offer a blessing?" I immediately said yes, very happy to be on the side of the oppressed people and the suffering Church. Nobody pushed me to do it, only God in my soul, and I was happy to obey God!
CM: What was the response to your presence at the freedom rally?
FP: To my amazement, when I showed up on stage that night, it was like we had known each other for a long time. People started to smile, yet no one (apart from my friends and a few other friends) had ever seen me; then, even though I was in front of thousands of people, I felt like I was at home, in the family.
CM: Has your bishop or the Vatican reprimanded you and asked you to refrain from any further interventions in the protests?
FP: So far, no bishop, and not even the Vatican, has intervened to reproach me. Let them do what they think best. I am sure God helps me, as He has always helped the simple in the course of history. If they forbid me, I will continue, because, as the Apostles themselves say in Sacred Scripture, "We must obey God rather than man."
CM: How do you feel when you see Pope Francis not only forcing the vaccine and the Green Pass but also siding with the globalist health despotism?
FP: Francis I, that is Cdl. Mario Bergoglio, whom I also acknowledge to be pope, committed a great sin and a terrible abuse of his papal authority when he promoted vaccines. God is not happy with him, with his support for the New World Order. And, of course, He is not happy with the bishops (including cardinals) and priests who support him.
CM: People are comparing you to Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko, who associated himself with the Solidarity movement in Poland. Would you like to continue supporting the workers in Italy?
FP: Like all the saints, Blessed Popiełuszko helps me!
CM: Do you see your presence among the workers as a form of evangelization, especially because so many ordinary Italians are rejecting the Catholic hierarchy because they see the pope and bishops on the wrong side of history?
FP: By doing what I did, I did nothing more and nothing beyond my mission as a priest and evangelist.