Campaigning on Hope and Change? Italian Politician Asks For Exorcism By Pope

200px-Calderoli1Deputy Senate Speaker Roberto Calderoli (and Senator from the The Northern League and once Minister of Reforms under the center-right government of Silvio Berlusconi in 2006) may not appeal to many Italians. He is viewed as xenophobic and racist. He insults groups with remarkable frequency and . . . oh yes . . . he says that he is possessed. That’s right, Calderoli believed that he has been hexed by the father of the the Minister of Integration and wants an emergency exorcism from the Church.

180px-Kashetu_kyeng_cecileThe controversy began when Cécile Kyenge was selected by Enrico Letta chose Cécile Kyenge (a Congolese-born doctor) as his minister of Integration. She is the country’s first black minister and Calderoli responded by comparing her to an orangutan. The first response is one that I have long opposed: he has been charged with using words of “racial hatred and discrimination.” For recent columns, click here and here and here and here. I have serious reservations about charging or suing individuals about statements made about public officials that are deemed as offensive.

It was the second response however that got Calderoli’s attention. His comments did not sit well with Kyenge’s father Clement Kikoko Kyenge who reportedly practised a rite asking the “ancestors’ spirits” to set the Italian senator free from bad thoughts and hate speech. Calderoli took it as a hex and believes that it worked. He says that he has had a serious of bad luck including accidents that he blames on the rite. He says that he has had six operations and culminated in his killing a large snake in his kitchen in Mozzo (which turned out to be endangered and now he is facing a criminal complaint from the European Animalist Party).

While he insists that he is “not superstitious at all,” it certainly does not sound that way. Indeed, as someone who grew up in an Italian family, I can say that superstitions can run pretty deep with some Italians but Calderoli seems to be dancing on the edge of sanity.

220px-Saintfrancisborgia_exorcism The story is so bizarre that I waited to see if other major European media picked it up. Calderoli has long been a lightening rod of controversy but his demand for an exorcism has led many Italians to call for a mental health review. Given the long shortage of exorcists, he might not be viewed as a priority by the Church. He is a bit short on the Linda Blair type of possession and more of a Silvio Berlusconi type of possession. However, this should make the next election rather interesting. I recommend a slogan along the lines of “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t: Vote Calderoli!” or “Vote For Change: Exorcise Calderoli!”

Source: The Week and Telegraph and Daily Mail and UK Today

23 thoughts on “Campaigning on Hope and Change? Italian Politician Asks For Exorcism By Pope”

  1. PCS, this passage suggests that Constantine had a purpose. Alternatively, the Emperor of the Roman Empire may have been in the habit of conducting, with no purpose or intent at all, events that would change history . Sure, that’s possible.

    Sometimes “fear” generates a strategy or purpose. Sometimes “disorder” causes certain personality types to desire “order.” Uumm. Maybe not. Maybe I’m misreading historical accounts. Every Emperor want “disorder” in the Empire. Seriously?

    “Constantine called the Council of Nicea—the first general council of the Christian church, 325 A.D.—primarily because he feared that disputes within the church would cause disorder within the empire.”

    Read more:

    1. John – we have no disagreement about why Constantine called the Council of Nicaea. However there is a huge difference to call the Council and see over it and dictating the New Testament, which seems to have been your original comment.

      You might try looking up the Council of Nicaea in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

  2. It is important to know what part of Italy this person was born in. A person from Firenzie is not like someone from Sicily. If he is Sicilian then I have some advice for him as to how to get rid of the hex. A smart Sicilian might hedge his bets and request help from the church but they have other means. Someone chime in and let me know where he comes from.

  3. PCS, not to put too fine a point on it, Constantine configured the Bible as a tool to facilitate his governance of the Roman Empire through his convening and macro-management of the Council of Nicaea.

    Damn! It’s a tough crowd.

    How would you react if I said Lincoln fought the Civil War? Of course, his generals, officers and soldiers did all that, right?

    Did Constantine manipulate the books of “Christianity,” the Bible, to his advantage and for his purposes as Emperor of the Roman Empire?

    I rest my case (sorry, I saw that on TV).

    1. John – there is no evidence to support your conclusion about Constantine. His purpose, once he had declared Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire was to make sure it was uniform throughout the Empire. Did he oversee the Council, yes. Did he dictate to the Council, there is no real evidence that he did. Think of it as Obamacare. Did Obama oversee the legislation? Not really. And it appears no one person read the whole darn thing. However, the principal is the same. He had his input. The legislature (Democrats only) had their input and their staff or BigPharma wrote it.

  4. PCS, I’ll, once again, stand corrected.

    Please enlighten us as to what Constantine actually DID do.

    1. John – Constantine forced the Council of Nicaea. You were right about him wanted a standard text throughout the Roman Empire. Up until that time different Gospels, etc were being used in different areas In an effort to get conformity he had the Council called and oversaw it while the bishops made the final decisions.

  5. Understanding that exorcism and religion are not real, we are compelled to study the potentially beneficial effect of this proposal on the politician.

    “There’s a sucker born every minute,” – P.T. Barnum (popular)

    Let’s take a walk down to the physics department and quantify religion.

    Oops. That isn’t going to happen.

    The “masses” have been provided with far too much opium.

    Constantine created the Bible, a manual, a Guide For Everyday Living, as the glue to bind society; a tool to facilitate his control.

    World Union Of Deists:

    “The Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337 CE), who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Roman Empire. Until this time the various Christian leaders could not decide which books would be considered “holy” and thus “the word of God” and which ones would be excluded and not considered the word of God.”

    Was Constantine actually God in disguise?

    Was the Bible the “word of God” or the word of Constantine, et al.?

    Who trades in all this nonsense? Oops! The whole world.

    1. John – Constantine did not create the Bible. It was agreed upon by Catholic bishops at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. It is St. Jerome who was the driving force for four gospels and for emphasizing the later years of the life of Jesus. The Torah, which encompasses the first section of the current Bible was written long before Constantine. Protestant versions of the Bible exclude some books included in the Catholic version.

  6. Nick – in the opera ‘mad’ means visibly insane. Both Ophelia and Lear go ‘mad.’ Give the guy his due. If he is hexed he is recognizing the power of the other religion and should have a right to fight it with his own religion.

  7. Squeeky, My grandfather was a lover of opera. He would have me sit and listen to opera w/ him. This is one of the albums her had.

  8. Italian politics seems like a television series – sometimes a sitcom, other times The Sopranos.

  9. Squeeky, I think that poem should be deleted immediately. I am personally offended and how I FEEEEL, trumps everything, even the Constitution.

  10. Well, this calls for a pre -coffee Irish Poem:

    Buffa Lows???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    Oh my, but this here’s the stuffa
    An Italian Opera Buffa!
    Possession and snakes
    Make you do double takes,
    Til you finally holler, “Enuffa!”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. As I walked w/ my daughter through Rome, after a few days of viewing the history and the people, I told her you can see how Italians ruled the world, and also how they pissed it all away. She got it.

Comments are closed.