Whatever the thought-process behind its use, however, odds are this is worse:
A priest has shocked parishioners by welcoming them to church wearing a swastika armband.
Fascist Father Angelo Idi, 51 - who once saw off a charity box thief with a truncheon at his church in Vigevano, Italy - confessed: "I am proud of my right wing beliefs. But people shouldn't care about my politics, they should care about how good a priest I am."...
Last month a right wing Italian priest who is a member of Richard Williamson's Pius fraternity [i.e. SSPX] was caught giving the Hitler salute at a neo-fascist rally -- but claimed he was just trying to bless his flock.
Catholic [sic] priest Giulio Tam, well known for his extremist right views, raised his right arm when speaking at a rally of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova party in Bergamo, northern Italy.Blessing or salute? You decide.
After a picture revealed Tam raising his right hand, he argued: "The young people of the Forza Nuova wanted me to bless them. I'll always be on their side."
According to Italian reports, Tam -- who's reportedly celebrated Requiem Masses at the grave of Benito Mussolini -- is the Forza Nuova ("New Strength") candidate in June's mayoral elections in Bologna.
...just in case anyone thought things were crazy in the States.
SVILUPPO: Contrary to the Austrian report cited above, Angelo Idi (shown above right) is not a priest, but the lay sacristan of a parish church.
Doesn't make it any better, of course.