Matteo Salvini is an Italian conservative politician who supports national sovereignty and wants to take back control from the European Union. He opposes illegal immigration and embraces a policy of "Italy first." In March 2018 his populist party shocked the establishment and he now serves in the powerful position of Interior Minister where he has a significant impact preventing migrant ships from landing on Italian shores. Salvini's party, The League, collaborated with the first finishing party, The Five Star Movement collaborating in hopes of taking over the European Union Parliament in the May elections. Why should we cheer for Salvini?
The Catholic Italian politician with whom Pope Francis reportedly refuses to meet because of his immigration stance held and kissed a rosary during a political rally over the weekend and invoked the Blessed Mother, drawing criticism from some quarters and support from others.Salvini PRAYS like a Catholic:
During a Saturday political rally attended by tens of thousands in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Salvini appealed to the six patron saints of Europe, The Tablet reports, Ss. Benedict of Norcia, Brigid of Sweden, Catherine of Siena, Cyril and Methodius, and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). Salvini then kissed his rosary, looked up to statue of the Blessed Mother atop the 14th-century Milan Cathedral and said, “I entrust Italy, my life, and your lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who I’m sure will bring us to victory.”While Church leaders in Rome (e.g., Fr. Antonio Spadaro of "sock puppet" fame) condemned Salvini for...well...acting like a Catholic, a Catholic Herald columnist voiced a different view:
Catholic Herald columnist and associate professor of theology for the Catholic University of America C.C. Pecknold offered reasoned analysis, pointing out among other things that Salvini echoes what Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah has said on immigration.
Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has affirmed a nation’s right to differentiate between refugees and economic migrants and acknowledged a globalist effort to de-Christianize the West via mass migration. He has also criticized the idea that social justice issues such as immigration displace or are on the par with the Church’s primary purpose to save souls.
Pecknold also noted that Salvini quoted Sarah in his speech, along with G.K. Chesterton, Pope Saint John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI.
“There is nothing wrong with rosaries in politics,” he said. “We need whole nations consecrated to Our Lady.”Omigosh and horrors! A Catholic politician who invokes Our Lady and quotes saints and great Catholic apologists and doesn't support illegal immigration and climate change. What is the world coming to?
The crowd apparently did not agree with Salvini's critics. Their reaction when he mentioned Our Lady was to respond with "Beatle-mania-like vigor.” And here's a clip of one of his rallies where he was greeted with enthusiasm. Maybe there's hope for the West yet.