Violent activities of Introvigne's group compared to "Red Brigade" terrorism by mainstream Catholics.
After the publication of a CESNUR study which calls all the critics of Massimo Introvigne's organisation "terrorists" (see our comments), a friend sent us the clipping you can read below. The only date on it is the year 1977, written by hand; the layout seems to be that of the Rome daily Il Tempo.
The item tells how Alleanza Cattolica - the organisation of which Introvigne is currently one of the five national leaders - physically attacked a lecture by Father Caprile at the headquarters of the Jesuit magazine, "Civiltà cattolica", in Rome. Although Introvigne was already a militant of Alleanza Cattolica at the time, and should have been in Rome in 1977, the clipping does not tell us whether he was present.
Vatican Radio afterwards called "Alleanza Cattolica" an "extremist organisation", while mainstream Jesuit Father Sorge compared the actions of Introvigne's movement to both the Red Brigade guerrillas of Italy's '70s and to the Fascists who in 1931 had ransacked the offices of "Civiltà cattolica."
All this took place twenty-two years ago, a long time back in history. And of course a lot of sedate middle aged men of today used to do wild things in those days.
However, in all these years, Alleanza Cattolica has never officially changed its ideas. It now fights through CESNUR and other think-tanks, but the battle is the same. Indeed, the official magazine of Alleanza Cattolica, Cristianità, regularly claims CESNUR's activities in a column actually called "The Good Battle".
Another important point is that CESNUR was founded only a few years after the episode we are speaking of here.
Of course, it would be ridiculous to call Introvigne a terrorist because of this action. Almost as ridiculous as calling us of Kelebek "terrorists" because we disagree with his views.
Demonstration by "traditionalists" at "Civiltà Cattolica"
Indignation and disapproval about a barbarous episode
On Saturday, a group of members of the movement "Alleanza Cattolica" prevented a lecture by Father Caprile about "Errors and Contradictions in the Lefebvre Case" taking place - Statement by Father Sorge.
A lecture by Father Caprile on "Errors and Contradictions in the Lefebvre Case", scheduled to be held on Saturday afternoon at "Civiltà Cattolica" was stopped due to an unworthy row kicked up by a group of members of the "traditionalist" group Alleanza Cattolica. They started interrupting the speaker right from the start, hurling insults, then they stopped the lecture by starting a "sit-in" right in the hall, reciting the rosary, showing enormous [rosary] crowns and singing in Latin. Somebody also called for the "Mass of Saint Ignatius", meaning the Latin Mass of the Council of Trent.
Some members of the public tried to expel the troublemakers from the hall; an attempt at pacification by Father Sorge, the director of "Civiltà Cattolica", also failed. The police from the nearby station had to be called in; three young men were taken into custody and released on the same evening.
Vatican Radio called this serious episode a "disorderly demonstration organised by the extremist movement Alleanza Cattolica, a boycotting operation planned in every detail."
The Jesuits present at the lecture too stated that this action had been planned in order to prevent Father Caprile from speaking. The Jesuits showed as evidence a piece of paper they had found in the hall, giving handwritten details of a plan of action. Among other items, the sheet gave details about the lecture and instructions on how to intervene: the hall was to be occupied "at strategic points"; the protesters should adopt the "ideal formation: 7-8 little groups, each made up of a few militants", then they should "start making trouble softly at first", gradually rising up to "howling" and shouting slogans such as "God free the Church from Marxist infiltration" or "For Christendom betrayed by Vatican diplomacy."
Speaking about the squalid event, the director of "Civiltà cattolica", Father Bartolomeo Sorge said that it should not be dramatised. "However", he added, "during the long life of our magazine, it was only under Fascism that a similar episode of barbarous intolerance ever took place. The fact that the levebvriani of "Alleanza Cattolica", instead of using the vulgar jargon of Fascist squads recited the rosary in Latin does not in any way change the logic of their behaviour; at the most, it adds a note of religious fanaticism which makes the whole event even more distressing."
They show the photocopy of the sheet of paper found in the hall, which was handed over to the investigators. Father Sorge notes that this action was planned in every detail, and comments: "it is quite true that extremists of various tendencies come close to each other, whether they be black [Fascist] or red. The Red Brigade people, perhaps, are more clever. However, I must say that the lecture which was stopped could not have met with greater success. With all the respect I have for Father Caprile, I am certain that he would never have been able to explain any better who the supporters of Monsignor Lefebvre are and what the integrisme and religious fanaticism of his movement are like."
The episode of Fascist violence Father Sorge spoke of was a reference to an assault in 1931 on the old offices of "Civiltà cattolica" in Via Di Ripetta in July 1931: a group of Fascists threw the files of the magazine into a mess and cast papers and archives out of the window.
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