Fr Sante Braggiè, from the city of Cremona in northern Italy, said there would be no nativity scene at the local cemetery this year as it could offend people from other faiths whose relatives are buried there. A small corner of the cemetery is reserved for Muslim graves.
UK Express (h/t Terry D) “A crib positioned within sight of them could be seen as a lack of respect for followers of other faiths, hurt the sensibilities of Muslims.”
“In short, it would be a mess.”The priest also said that there were a shortage of council workers to set up the crib. Fr Oreste Mori, Fr Braggiè’s predecessor, said: “Seriously? I can’t believe it.”
According to a report in the Italian newspaper Courier della Serra, he said: “We cannot renounce our culture and traditions. “That would be an unpardonable weakness.” “I am, for the time being at least, in Italy, not Saudi Arabia.”
Local councillors have also blasted the priest’s comments, calling on the religious leader to change his mind and run the nativity.
Councillor Cristina Cappellini said: “I hope Fr Braggiè changes his mind and apologises to the community. “A parish priest should preserve, honour and promote the symbols of our culture, of our traditions, of our Christian identity.”
The local chief of the right wing Northern League Pietro Burgazzi said: “I hope the decision not to put up a crib was not ideological, but hearing the criticisms it seems that it was.
“I want to stress the importance of the Christmas crib as a sign of Christian witness, which is always appreciated by the people of Cremona.”
African Muslim invaders destroying southern Italy: