Italy: Making 'Pope of Peace' patron saint of Italian military 'terribly inappropriate', says Pax Christi International Co-President


by Christopher Lamb, The Tablet

The Church’s most prominent peace group has described a decision to make Pope John XXIII the patron saint of the Italian military as “terribly inappropriate” but hoped that it might lead the army to reconsider the impact of war.

Given his reputation as the “Pope of Peace” and calls to end the use of nuclear weapons, the decision by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship to make St John XXIII the military’s patron has been met with bafflement and criticism.

In a statement Marie Dennis, the co-president of Pax Christi International said: “The designation of Pope John XXIII as the patron saint of the Italian army seems terribly inappropriate.”

Ms Dennis said that Pax Christi international aligned itself with the remarks of Archbishop Giovanni Ricchiuti, the President of Pax Christi in Italy, who described the decision was “disrespectful” and “absurd” after it was announced last week...

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Pope John XXIII, Italian army, Marie Dennis, The Tablet, Christopher Lamb