Saturday, June 10, 2006

The World Is Going To Hell In a Handbasket

The news is breaking from Italy that, sometime last night, an icon and two "ex-votos" -- small silver hearts marked with the initials "g.r." (in thanks for graces received) -- were stolen from the tomb of Msgr Luigi Giussani, Founder of the Comunione e Liberazione movement. Each of the items had been attached to the tombstone, located in a mausoleum at Milan's Monumentale Cemetery.

Don Gius, a watershed figure in the rise of the "New Movements" of the post-Concilar era, died in February 2005. A confidant and favorite of several Popes, his funeral liturgy at the Milan Duomo was attended by upwards of 60,000 people. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger, a longtime devotee of Giussani and champion of the CL, preached the homily. Many believe that Ratzinger's meditation on Giussani's life and work before the massive audience accomplished the transformation of the CDF Prefect from a popemaker to a papabile in his own right.

Corriere della Sera's headline says that the tomb of the CL founder has been "profaned" and the mayor of Milan has decried the "sacreligious theft."

The act had "offended not only those who have wished to render homage to the memory of the founder of Communion and Liberation," Mayor Letizia Moratti said, "but all Milanese, who considered Don Giussani an extraordinary figure of reference for his moral values and his dedication to the young in his work of education."

Reports in the Italian press indicated that "satanists" were feared to be behind the act; Monumentale Cemetery is apparently a known site for black masses. The Holy See was immediately informed; no formal statement has been released from the Vatican.