Crosses in Italian Cemetery Covered to Avoid Offence to Other Religions

The crosses on graves in an Italian cemetery in Pieve di Cento have been covered with black cloth so as not to offend those who may come from another religion.

The cemetery, which is located in Bologna in a town of around 7,000 people, has also installed motorised blackout curtains in a local chapel following renovations to hide Roman Catholic symbols during ceremonies involving other denominations, Il Giornale reports.

Following the reports of the coverings of the symbols, many have expressed criticism including Forza Italia (Forward Italy) deputy Galeazzo Bignami who denounced the move saying those looking not to offend were disrespecting Christian values and he added, “even more so the memory of our dead, hiding them behind ‘motorised tents’ in a cemetery to avoid offending other religions.”

“If the administrators are ashamed of our tradition and our culture, they should go and hide themselves and not just behind a motorised tent. If they are not able to bring respect for the living at least they have the decency to leave the dead alone and not involve them in foolishness,” he added.

Conservative-populist Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader Giorgia Meloni also commented on the case saying, “Using the excuse of respect for others, they lack respect for our Catholic culture and our traditions. Now the Left is beyond fanaticism. This is ideological delirium.”

The incident is also unlikely to have been well met by populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s League party which proposed in 2018 to require a crucifix be hung in all public buildings including train stations, airports, universities, and embassies.

The covering up of the crosses is also not the first time Italians have covered up statues and monuments so as not to offend those from different cultures.

In 2016, the-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had statues at the Capitoline Museum covered entirely so as not to offend Iranian President Hassam Rouhani who had come to Italy on a state visit. The move was met with widespread derision from the public on social media.

The Archbishop of Florence has announced he will be selling 86,000 square feet of property to a Muslim group in order for them to build a mosque in Sesto Fiorentino.

Cardinal of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, approved of the sale saying, “The transformation of Western societies into multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multi-religious societies is a fact and a future that inevitably awaits us.”

In the northern city of Bergamo, another Muslim association has spent nearly half a million euros on an old church, which they also plan to convert into a mosque.