On Saturday, January 12, 2013, militant homosexual demonstrators gathered in Trieste (Italy) in front of the archbishop’s residence to protest the alleged “racism” and “homophobia” of the leader of the Catholic Archdiocese.
They had picked the wrong target.
Before his appointment to the See of
Trieste in October 2009, Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi had served as
Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
position he fought against racism and collaborated with an international
group of prominent legal scholars to rewrite the Holy See’s document
condemning racism. He even led a Delegation of the Holy See to the
United Nations for a special session on racism.
The editor of the Trieste weekly newspaper, Vita Nuova,
interviewed Abp. Crepaldi about the incident, and the interview was
reprinted in other Italian publications.
An English translation of
selected questions and answers from that interview follows.
Your Grace, where were you last Saturday during the demonstration organized by Arcigay in front of the Archbishop’s Residence?
Confined to my quarters....
First I was in the Chapel praying Evening Prayer, and then I went back
to reading a voluminous book by Rodney Stark, a great American
sociologist, entitled The Triumph of Christianity, which
analyzes, among other things, the many persecutions suffered by
Christians during two thousand years of history.
The book demonstrates,
with a wealth of information, that in the end the persecutors pass away
and the Christians go on, because the persecutions purify them and make
them stronger. It is a book that I recommend.
The one on Saturday was a demonstration against you...
Yes, based on the false and very serious accusation that yours truly is intolerant and racist. [...]
The question revolves around homophobia...
No, sir, the question is a different one, precisely the one mentioned by
the organizers of the demonstration: to use homophobia as a pretext so
as to gain acceptance for the right to same-sex marriage. Everyone
understood that. [...]
We have to consider two aspects, both of them very delicate. First. The
ultimate objective of these campaigns is to undermine one of the
foundations of civilization, the concept of the family based on the
marriage between a man and a woman, by equating it with other forms of
And the second?
To criminalize homophobia, so that anyone who declares publicly—as the
Catholic Church always has done—that the only true family is one founded
on the marriage of a man and a woman would be declared homophobic,
intolerant and racist, and therefore would be subject to criminal
prosecution.... This insidious project, devised by progressives and
libertarians, will muzzle everybody, depriving them of freedom. It is
paradoxical that the Church that gave the world the highest concept of
the incomparable value of the human person and taught the duty of
respect, equality and fraternity, should be described as a racist,
This is one of the oddities of history.
However, my friends in Vienna at the Observatory on Intolerance and
Discrimination against Christians in Europe, whom I call on now and then
for an opinion or to monitor the situation in Trieste, tell me that a
large-scale “gender persecution” against Christianity has begun and that
it will be very severe. There will be the militants, some who seek a
compromise, some who betray, there will be the faithful and there will
also be martyrs. [...]
The President of the Province [of Trieste, Maria Teresa Bassa Poropat,] declared that there is a “need for an open Church”.
That was a rather inappropriate request on the part of an institutional
Authority who has always been admired for her moderation and ability to
stay at her post. To the President of the Province I say that the only
thing that the Church must do is to be faithful to the requests of
Jesus, her Spouse and her Lord. Let Him suffice.
And what do you say about the Mayor?
Mayor Cosolini ... stated that “the critique [of the demonstration] by
the diocese was legitimate”: a serious, responsible and balanced
But a municipal Magistrate participated in the demonstration...
It was reported to me that there were two Magistrates. I hope that they
don’t use the line that they were there in their personal capacity....
Personally I maintain that their participation was disturbing and that
it was a black mark on democracy and on the honor of the city’s
A Municipal Council is at the service of the welfare of
everyone and in its work must respect the rights of all. [...] I do not
know whether homophobia—which I obviously and strongly condemn—is so
widespread in Trieste, and I cannot say whether the zeal of our civil
institutions in this matter is appropriate.
What the facts demonstrate
is that recently in Trieste a case of Christianophobia has been