Italy: Mosques in nativity scenes

Italy: Mosques in nativity scenes

Update: Telegraph reports in English

... The anti-immigration Northern League has called for a referendum to before any more mosques are built. Mario Borghezio, a Northern League MEP, called the priest an "imbecile" and said: "What on earth possessed him to put a mosque in a traditional Christmas nativity scene? I hope that the Church authorities in Genova will investigate this as a matter of urgency.''

He added: "What will this priest do when he says Mass during Ramadan? Ask us to turn towards Mecca? He may as well have included a suicide bomber wearing dynamite."


Father Bonzani also responded to his fiercer critics. "They said that I was allowing Islam to infiltrate Catholicism. As for Mr Borghezio, he is showing complete ignorance of his so called Catholic faith to love thy neighbour as thyself."


A nativity scene set up in Venice at a college of the Italian Women's Center, a Catholic organization, also features a mosque.

Suad Kechman, a Bosnian Muslim, who built the scene together with Donatella Trevisan, a Catholic coworker, says she respects her host nation's traditions. She says she was inspired by Sarajevo, which used to be a multicultural, multi-religious city.

The principal of the school, Valentina Pontina, sees the mosque initiative as a positive thing. The school has 150 students, with about 40% immigrants coming from Albania, China, the Philippines, Macedonia, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and the Ukraine.

Father Konrad Friedrich Ferdinand, priest at the Church of San Simon Piccolo was not happy about it. He says that Muslims and Christians do not have the same concept of Jesus. For Christians Jesus is a God while for Muslims he's not.

On the other hand, Father Dino Pistolato, director of the diocesan Caritas, says the mosque does not bother him and that the Christian message is that God is for everybody.


In Genoa, the priest of Oregina, Don Prospero, recreated contemporary Palestine in a nativity scene, and doesn't understand why there's a scandal about there being a mosque. He says that there's also a menorah in his scene.

He says that only one person in his parish complained and yet it got top headlines in Italian newspapers. Partially since there's already a controversy about building a mosque in Genoa.

Sources: La Nuova , le Repubblica (Italian)

No comments: