ROME (JTA) — The Vatican criticized a leading Italian politician who suggested that the Church bore some responsibility for fascist-era anti-Semitism in Italy.
Vatican Radio on Wednesday called the previous day’s statement by Gianfranco Fini, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, "unfounded accusations." And the official Vatican newspaper l’Osservatore Romano accused Fini, who started his political career in the neo-fascist movement, of "miserable political opportunism" and "historic approximation."
At a ceremony in Parliament marking the 70th anniversary of the imposition of fascist anti-Semitic racial laws in Italy, Fini said Italians in general as well as the Catholic Church, not fascism alone, bore some responsibility for the fascist-era persecution of Jews.
L’Osservatore Romano wrote that fascism was solely responsible for "the infamy of the racial laws" of 1938."