“Illegal” pro-life posters and a tribute mobile-billboard in Rome

[“Illegal” pro-life posters and a tribute mobile-billboard in Rome]

Pro-life advocates cover Rome with thousands of posters exposing abortion

State the posters: ‘One child killed every five minutes. Since 1978 more than six million killed by abortion. Let us also remember these dead.’

Diane Montagna

ROME, November 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Eternal City was blanketed with thousands of posters depicting the horror of abortion on the weekend as an unknown group of pro-life activists sought to reawaken Romans to the evil of abortion, nearly 40 years after it was legalized in Italy on May 18, 1978.

“One child killed every five minutes. Since 1978 more than six million killed by abortion. Let us also remember these dead,” stated the posters. The posters depict a baby in the womb being pursued by an instrument commonly used to dismember a baby during an abortion.

According to Italian media, it is unknown who printed the posters and who put them up around Rome.

“What’s striking,” Italian journalist Marco Tosatti wrote on Saturday, “is that this protest against legal abortion appeared as ProVita Onlus was awaiting authorization from Roman authorities to put up its own posters against abortion, although they were different from the ones that appeared.”

Pro-Vita Onlus is the Italian pro-life organization responsible for the publicity truck honoring Italian Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, that was stopped by Italian police as it circled the Vatican.

“The message is certainly strong but it represents the pure truth,” Toni Brandi, president of ProVita Onlus, said of the posters protesting abortion.

“We encourage the poster authors to continue the good fight. We certainly endorse this initiative aimed at raising public awareness about what abortion really is: the massive killing of innocent children in the womb, with horrible instruments of death,” he said.

Brandi continued: “We learned about these posters right when we were waiting on Roman city authorities to put up our own posters, which were also about abortion. Yet after our request on October 30, city authorities are pretending like nothing happened, and they don’t seem willing to put them up.”

“Are we perhaps facing yet another violation of the freedom of expression? Is the city’s billboard office being permitted to inspect and criticize the content of ‘unwanted posters’? Given the inaction and the delay, it is fair to think so,” he said.


Rome Tribute to Dubia Cardinal Stopped by Police


Officers detain, question host of billboard praising the late Cdl. Carlo Caffarra

by Juliana Freitag • ChurchMilitant • November 18, 2017

A truck billboard honoring the late Cdl. Carlo Caffarra, stalwart defender of orthodoxy and one of the signatories of the dubia, was stopped by Italian police, its hosts detained and questioned.

Italian pro-life groups ProVita Onlus and Vita è got together with Catholic publishing house Fede e Cultura to pay homage to the deceased archbishop of Bologna. They arranged for a publicity truck with billboard images of the cardinal and his close friend Pope St. John Paul II to be driven around Rome from November 6 (the two-month anniversary of Caffarra’s death) to November 11.

The billboard read, “Thank you, Caffarra,” alongside an extract of Pope John Paul II’s famous Washington speech: “When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary, conditional arrangement that can easily be terminated, we will stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.”

Editor and co-founder of Fede e Cultura, Prof. Giovanni Zenone, stated that they wanted to remember Caffarra “because he was truly a father, able to direct souls to Christ, both in previous pontificates and in the present times of doctrinal and spiritual disorientation.”

“[He] wasn’t ambiguous, but had that … clarity that is a sign of truth and love,” Zenone continued. “He did a lot of charity for the poor, but never publicized it, because for him it was enough that God knew.”

Zenone is also a signatory of the Filial Correction, a 25-page letter signed by clergy and scholars asking the Pope to condemn seven potential heresies in Amoris Laetitia, made worse by the Pope’s “words, deeds and omissions.” Zenone says he signed the Correction “because the Pope’s silence toward the legitimate … pleas of clarification … scandalized me and it spurred me to do something as a Catholic. Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas (“Plato is my friend, but truth is a better friend”).”

On the very first day, the tribute truck was stopped by the Italian Police, and the driver, Toni Brandi (president of ProVita Onlus), was held and questioned for two hours. Brandi was contacted by one of the chief officers over the phone, who asked him what the purpose of the initiative was, “since Cardinal Caffarra wasn’t aligned with Pope Francis.”

To this incredible accusation, Brandi replied that theirs was the celebration of a holy man who was “neither a heretic nor separated from the Pope.” Brandi was summoned the next day for further questioning.

Brandi made clear that the police officers were kind and polite, and that “it seemed as if they’d been forced to do this ugly job.” He wondered “who might’ve ordered them to block the truck.”

Church Militant spoke to Brandi, who confirmed all the details of the incident and called it “absolutely shameful.”

The interrogation lasted about 45 minutes, during which time Brandi explained the connection between Caffarra and Pope John Paul II (they co-founded the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family). The officers inquired as to the organizers, whether there were other people behind the billboard, why it was done, and whether the Vatican had been warned (a needless procedure, as the truck had all the necessary permits to operate in the Italian State).

The officers questioned their motivates: “Was it an awareness campaign, a protest or simply a celebration?” Brandi was also asked why the need to celebrate a Bolognese cardinal in Rome.

If the ordeal weren’t surreal enough, when faced with Brandi’s answer — “because Rome is the home of Christianity; we’re a pro-life organization, we wanted to celebrate a defender of life” — one of the officers replied, “But the Church doesn’t talk about life nowadays.”

The meeting finished with the president of ProVita disclosing information about his work and providing a number of documents to back up his claims. He was advised to “be careful” when uploading pictures of the truck to the organizers’ websites.

Brandi can be seen in the video above praying to Caffarra outside the police station where he had been interrogated. The truck circulated freely throughout Rome over the next days.

ProVita Onlus is now looking into legal action against the government for violating ther religious freedom, and six members of the Italian Parliament have already submitted the case to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Alessandro Pagano, from Lega Nord (“Northern League”), stated: “We ask the Minister to verify the reasons for the police’s anomalous behaviour.”

Massimiliano Fedriga, also from Lega Nord, commented, “I presented a query to understand … the motivations of whoever issued the orders to interrogate ProVita Onlus.”

And Eugenia Roccella, from IDEA (the Identity and Action Party) declared that “it’s unbelievable that the celebration of … Cardinal Caffarra … can be seen as suspicious by the police. We wonder … who ordered such questioning. It’s unacceptable that Christians, persecuted all over the world, have been intimidated in Rome, in the heart of Christianity.”

Vatican insider Marco Tosatti mentioned the possibility that the order to detain might have come from inside the Vatican itself.

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