Archbishop Disinvited from Elementary School Pre-Christmas Visit

Country: Italy

Date of incident: December 2, 2015

Category: Government Restrictions / Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Education / Governmental

School officials point to respect for the "multicultural character" of their student body as the reason.

The elementary school in Massari (Sardinia) has been praised as a model of integration, as 122 of the 250 students are non-Catholic. The archbishop was surprised by the cancellation and has said he has visited countless schools and doesn't give religious education, but merely meets and gets to know the students. He also said he has "cordial meetings" with the Imam of Massari and that he meets almost every day with Muslim families. Ugo Cappellacci, regional coordinator for Forza Italia, said that this decision sends a very bad message: in the name of a misunderstood concept of tolerance, "preventive self-censorship" results in children not learning about a religion, and the traditions and beliefs of many Italians.  He went on to say: We need to teach respect for differences instead of negating them, which increases tension rather than promoting co-existence. It is unthinkable that a religion that is labeled 'offense to another' but secularist fundamentalism is tolerated. Neither is it conceivable that in Italy religious freedom of expression that is guaranteed to all, is not recognized for Catholics.   Sources: Calgiaripad