«Once again, public policy is powerless over requests for special permissions coming from the Catholic Church. The government has given priority to religious meetings while other types of meetings continue to be banned (theaters, book presentations, meetings in social and cultural centers, cinemas, right down to education in public schools). Under pressure from the bishops, the government implemented a special regime for religious meetings, a special regime prohibited by sentence no. 45/1957 of the Constitutional Court. Freedom of assembly should not reserve privileges for someone and prohibitions for someone else. Not even if this someone considers himself the representative of God on earth».
The secretary of the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (Uaar), Roberto Grendene, comments on the protocol signed by Palazzo Chigi which gives the go-ahead for Catholic masses starting on May 18.
«For example, we have a library that we cannot open and a meeting room which is off-limits, therefore our assemblies cannot be held: isn’t this discrimination? It also speaks volumes of the rigidity of the rules for the resumption of religious celebrations: the rules established by the Protocol are actually pretty general in nature and their application is simply entrusted to parish priests or volunteers. If we stop to consider the many occasions in which religion got a free pass in phase 1 (we have documented them and the press has covered them), who tells us that in phase 2 things will get better? In short – concludes Grendene – we are surprised that the same technical-scientific committee that a few days ago claimed that Catholic masses carried with them “unavoidable critical issues” has now given a favorable opinion to the protocol. What happened to those critical issues? Have they disappeared by divine intervention? »