Saturday, May 5, 2007
Fr. Lombardi Comments on the May Day Concert Incident
VATICAN CITY, MAY 3, 2007 (VIS) - In a declaration released yesterday afternoon on TG1 (the television news of RAI, the Italian State broadcaster), Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. affirmed that "the irreverent comments directed at the Pope and the Church during the May Day concert were clearly an act of irresponsibility. It is right to say so, and the trade union representatives were right to disassociate themselves" from those comments. Fr. Lombardi was referring to remarks made by one of the presenters of the concert, which is traditionally held on May 1 every year in the center of Rome. The presenter, Diego Rivera, said, among other things, that "the Pope does not believe in evolutionism," because "the Church has never evolved." Yesterday's edition of the Vatican daily newspaper, the "Osservatore Romano," described the comments by saying "it is a contemptible and terroristic act to throw stones, this time even against the Pope, while feeling protected by cries of approval from an easily excitable crowd." Speaking on TG1, the Holy See Press Office Director made it clear that, as both Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic, and Cardinal Secretary of State Tarciso Bertone S.D.B. had pointed out, "it would be as well for all of us to seek to diffuse tensions and to re-create conditions for serene dialogue in our society. In this way, it is right that what was an evident act of foolishness should not become a tragedy and an opportunity to re-ignite huge conflicts."