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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Davies


It is very disturbing to see a priest holding a benediction service for the founder of fascism. Rows of men standing at attention, many wearing black shirts. Yes, believe it or not, this was today, July 26, 2020, in northern Italy. It is Mussolini's birthday this week and I've learned it's not the first time the Catholic church in Mezzegra, near where he was killed, has held such a service.

What is this disease, here and elsewhere in Europe, where local people remember a dictator with fondness (to be clear there are also many local partisan* supporters in the hills around Mezzegra, where 'Bella Ciao' is not a catchy Netflix song).

How is it the Catholic Church today honors a dictator?

This is not the Italy of the Italian Constitution, crafted post-war by a deeply anti-fascist Assembly in 1947.

I'm not comfortable entering a Catholic Church anywhere until they stop honoring dictators.

Yes, might be a while...

*Italian resistance

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