An Italian priest faces outrage after he decided to move a nativity scene out of fear of offending Muslims.
Father Sante Braggie, a chaplain from Cremona, claimed that the location of the nativity scene would show a lack of respect to Muslims and other religions, reports the Daily Mail.
Tradition dictates that the nativity scene is placed in a local cemetery. Now, Father Braggie will place the scene in a small chapel to avoid offending various religious groups.
“A crib positioned within sight of them could be seen as a lack of respect for followers of other faiths, hurt the sensibilities of Muslims, as well as Indians and even atheists,” Father Braggie declared. “In short, it would be a mess.”
Outrage quickly ensued over the decision. Cristina Cappellini, a local lawmaker, said the priest should honor longstanding traditions.
“A parish priest should preserve, honor and promote the symbols of our culture, of our traditions, of our Christian identity,” Cappellini said.
Braggie’s predecessor, Father Oreste Mori, expressed disbelief with Father Braggie’s actions, saying that removing the nativity scene is akin to “renouncing our culture and traditions.”
“I cannot believe it! I do not want to hear things like that. We cannot give up our culture and our traditions. It would be an unforgivable weakness. We are, at least for now, in Italy, not Saudi Arabia,” Father Mori said.
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