GENOA, Italy (ChurchMilitant.com) - In an uncharacteristic move, an Italian cardinal normally known for advocating for the Christian family forced the cancellation of prayers of reparation for gay pride events.
In advance of a major gay pride parade held on Saturday, three parishes in the archdiocese of Genoa had to cancel planned public Rosaries and eucharistic processions to make reparations for the offense to God.
After a blasphemous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary and God was paraded at a 2017 pride event, the outrage among the faithful of Italy sparked many parishes and groups to hold reparation events.
Groups organizing the events planned eucharistic processions for the three days before the event as well as three Rosaries. Those who wished were asked to wear white — the color symbolizing purity.
According to the three parish priests in the archdiocese, they each claimed to have gotten a phone call from the auxiliary bishop, Nicolò Anselmi, who informed them that Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the archbishop of Genoa, found these events "inappropriate."
Italian media attempted to confirm the report with the archdiocese but the secretary, Giovanni Battista Valle, could not confirm or deny the report as he had no information on it. The secretary for Bp. Anselmi claimed he "is busy all day in a meeting and cannot be disturbed and that one cannot leave him messages."
Cardinal Bagnasco also did not respond to media queries.
Cardinal Bagnasco, appointed as the president of the Italian Bishops' Conference by Pope Benedict XVI, has been an outspoken critic against Italy's push for gay civil unions and acceptance of gender ideology.
In 2016, Cdl. Bagnasco opened their general assembly with a condemnation of the Italian Parliament's recognition of gay civil unions. He said it was a step "on the path to the final strike," and stated that although the law affirms civil unions and marriages are "different things," such "differences are only tricks of terminology or juridical artifacts."
In 2014, the cardinal warned that was "irresponsible" to create new forms of the family.
"It only confuses people and has the effect of being a sort of Trojan horse, undermining culturally and socially the core of humanity." He also asserted that children have a right to a mother and a father.
In 2007, both Pope Benedict XVI and the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano, publicly supported Cdl. Bagnasco after he received death threats for his comments that compared same-sex so-called marriage to other deviant behaviors in advance of legislation attempting to legalize it:
Why not say no to various forms of living together, to the creating of alternative forms of the family? Why not say no to the incest of a brother and a sister who live together and have children in Great Britain? Why not say no to the party of pederasts in Holland?
The apparent double standard shown by canceling the reparation events while "anti-homophobic" rallies are held on Church property has not gone unnoticed.
In May, for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), a number of churches in the archdiocese were allowed to hold rallies.
In one case, San Pietro Catholic Church in Banchi hosted three LGBT groups for an ecumenical service inside the church.
In 2017, Bp. Anselmi was the chairman of an IDAHOBIT vigil.
Public reparations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus were called for by Pope Pius XI in 1928 in his encyclical letter Miserentissimus Redemptor. He was moved to call for reparations after seeing lack of charity and knowledge of God, writing, "Error has crept in and has spread far and wide."
But since in the last century, and in this present century, things have come to such a pass, that by the machinations of wicked men the sovereignty of Christ Our Lord has been denied and war is publicly waged against the Church, by passing laws and promoting plebiscites repugnant to Divine and natural law, nay more by holding assemblies of them that cry out, "We will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke xix, 14): from the aforesaid Consecration there burst forth over against them in keenest opposition the voice of all the clients of the Most Sacred Heart, as it were one voice, to vindicate His glory and to assert His rights: "Christ must reign" (1 Corinthians xv, 25); "Thy kingdom come" (Matth. vi, 10).
Pius XI explained that as Christians have a duty out of justice and love to make penances and reparations, this practice applies to all of mankind.
"Moreover, his duty of expiation is laid upon the whole race of men since, as we are taught by the Christian faith, after Adam's miserable fall, infected by hereditary stain, subject to concupiscences and most wretchedly depraved, it would have been thrust down into eternal destruction," Pius XI wrote.