Delpini after the jokes about Pope Francis: “Criticized for my irony, they want a boring Church”

from Giampiero Rossi

The archbishop of Milan returns to the curtain in the Como Cathedral and denounces the language of “lamentation”. Then an appeal to politics: “From the next government I expect farsightedness, pride, resistance and kindness”

The future as a frightening “accumulation of threats”. Language weighed down by “lamentation”, while irony seems almost “forbidden”. In the midst of all this, however, he continues to sprout “the commitment to the common good”. From his Milanese observatory, Archbishop Mario Delpini points out that there are some aspects of our coexistence that “mark the whole of Western society”.

Your Excellency, two days ago you inaugurated the Ambrosian pastoral year. With what auspices?

“The church is a community that wants to sow hope on easy and difficult days. So my hope is that we know how to keep passion in everyone’s life and that in this life the glory of God continues to reveal itself ”.

You are engaged in a tour of the largest diocese in the world: what impressions are you getting?

«I find many confirmations of my belief that Milan is a wonderful reality, full of people and works of excellence: everywhere I find many people committed to making the city more habitable, to making problems less unbearable. But I also notice something else: once the Milanese dialect was spoken here, now the most widely spoken language seems to me to be that of lamentation. In short, an economic, cultural and social excellence that ends up speaking a somewhat depressed language ».

Another effect of the pandemic years?

«It does not seem to me that an art of“ speaking in order to do good ”was already habitual, which should be the criterion of human action as such. For a long time I have had the impression that people talk without thinking about whether what they say is good or not. Even the political debate, the sports language, the street chatter often fall into lamentation and cover even the splendor in gray ».

About language. You yourself, after a week, wanted to publicly clarify the meaning of his jokes in the Como Cathedral, after so many hypotheses, criticisms and inferences.

“From this story I draw the idea that irony is almost forbidden, that in this media context one must be serious, speak as little as possible and above all be bored. Because if one makes a joke in public, all this is unleashed. Evidently the media expects the church to always speak in a boring way. After that I am in complete agreement with the Pope, I agree with his choices and criteria, and I see no setback if a city has a bishop who is not a cardinal ».

But will she continue to use irony?

“I’ll do as I can, after all I just wanted to congratulate a friend.”

His pastoral proposal (“Kyrie, Alleluia, Amen – Praying to live, in the Church as disciples of Jesus”) sounds like an invitation to prayer addressed only to Catholics …

«I believe that the bishop, that is the church, with his own presence should try to interpret the needs of the human being and try to give a Christian response. And this theme of prayer, in reality, is not addressed only to Catholics who attend church, because I understand a much more widespread need for spirituality, although in some cases it is characterized by its egocentrism: “I need spirituality to be comfortable with myself”. In any case, even this question of something not only material and relational but also spiritual means something. It is a space to which I as a bishop can indeed I must address. To that person I say: I have a word to offer you about your need for spirituality ».

How has the world changed in these five years of your mandate as archbishop of Milan?

«The city and the whole country reacted with great energy to the problems that arose. However, the pandemic has made chronic problems emerge with greater criticality: loneliness, especially of the elderly, the educational emergency in some neighborhoods. And in these five years it seems to me that a question has been confirmed that has not been answered: is there a promised land towards which it is worth setting out? Here, this question of hope is almost censored as embarrassing, and this trait marks Milan and the whole Western civilization that no longer looks to the future as a promised land but as an accumulation of threats ».

What do you expect from politics after 25 September?

“I expect some virtues: farsightedness, that is, not just to stop emergencies but a path for the future of the country and of Europe; pride, that is, the awareness that we can do it, that we are capable of facing problems, therefore we need skills but also a healthy attitude; resistance, because political commitment can be exhausting under the blackmail of popularity and discontent. I would also add kindness: aggression is not inevitable ».

If you want to stay updated on news from Milan and Lombardy, subscribe to the Corriere Milano newsletter for free. It arrives every Saturday in your mailbox at 7am. That’s enough
click here.

September 10, 2022 (change September 10, 2022 | 07:29)

Delpini after the jokes about Pope Francis: “Criticized for my irony, they want a boring Church”