PopeWatch: CathoCommunism

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Journalist Hilary White, in the comboxes of One Peter Five, writes about CathoCommunism:


They become quite famous, these Italian commie priests, media personalities. The word for it is “Cattocommunismo”, Catho-communism. There’s a whole set of journalistic nomenclature you have to learn when you start reporting on it. You have to know what “bella ciao” means in its political context. You have to know what “the social movements” and “social centres” are and what “street priests” are.

Even outside this extreme fringe like Zanotelli, it is taken for granted that priests simply don’t have the Faith. Last Christmas it made the news when a parish priest in Turin stood up at Midnight Mass and announced they would be skipping the Creed because he didn’t believe it. The parish church of San Rocco di Torino, Fr. Fredo Olivero, replaced the Creed with a song called Dolce Sentire, a kind of hippified, sentimentalised and materialised version of St. Francis Canticle of the Creatures. This story made the news, but it is normal in Italy. In an ordinary country or suburban parish they might not drop significant parts of the Mass, (or they might, but no one cares) but you do not hear about the Catholic religion at all from the pulpit.

The biggest problem we always had with reporting on this to an American audience was the complete inability of the readers to believe this. “Why doesn’t the Church do something??” was a standard response. The only answer is, “This IS the Church in Italy.” Catholics in the Church in this country are a tiny minority and completely shut out of the structures of the institutions. “Corruption” is a word you really can’t understand fully until you’ve lived here a while.

Go here to read the rest.  Hilaire Belloc’s quote is more true than ever:


The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.



More to explorer

Advent and Anti-Christ, Part III

Part three of my presentation of the four sermons of John Henry Cardinal Newman on the Anti-Christ delivered in 1835 before his conversion. 


  1. No doubt there are worthless priests in Italy. What Italy doesn’t have is a communist vote of any consequence. The communist parties and their collaborators pulled fewer than 2% of the ballots and won not a single seat in parliament last March.

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