Rome (NEV) – The month of January in Italy furnished two important occasions for relationships between Christians and Jews and between Italian democracy and the Jewish people. The “Day for the Jews” and the “Day of Recollection” both give disquieting signs of regression by the Church of Rome. The re-introduction of the Tridentine Mass brought with it the adoption of a prayer for the conversion of the Jews. Inevitably and justifiably, the Italian rabbis decided – for the first time – to suspend their official participation in the initiative. The eve of the “Day of Recollection” the Pope took away the excommunication which had been inflicted upon the bishops of the fraternity of San Pio X, followers of Monsignor Lefebvre. Inevitably, justifiable, from all over the world voices of protest from authoritative Jews were raised, because among the four bishops rehabilitated there is one openly anti-semitic and who denies the existence of the Nazi holocaust. All this while the polemic aroused by the fact the President of the House of Representatives, honoring his institutional role, had recalled, in occasion of the 70th anniversary of the promulgation of the Fascist racist laws, that they did not meet with any substantial opposition for the church and from the Italians at that time, was still very much alive. It was the pure and simple truth: it is known, and not only yesterday, that the Vatican did not object to the racist laws, from 1938 to the period of the Badoglio Government, if not for that which was held as possible violations of the Concordat pertaining to matters of marriage. A similar position has come up recently regarding the proposal of an international commitment for the defense of the right to life of homosexuals in homophobic countries: to the matter of human rights the Vatican had anticipated its concern for the safeguard of “natural” marriages. The rights of the persons pass to a second level with respect to a one sided truth that is held to be valid for everyone, at any price. If the defence of the menaced homosexuals can sound like an authorization to their “disorganized” way of life, then it is more important to affirm the “natural” order. I believe that there isn’t any doubt about the fact that the “accidents” between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish people represent backward steps, disturbing signs of a return to the past. The repeated declarations of adherence to the conciliar declaration “Nostra Aetate”, point 4, that marked the end of anti-Jewish positions and the start of the so-called “season of dialogue”, are not confirmed by the facts. And unfortunately it isn’t surprising that these are the facts of this papacy, that they become more and more like a planned recovery of the past, without a break, like a slow and programmatic restauration: Trent and Vatican Council I are vigorously retouched in the name of an indisputable and monolithic authoritarian continuity; the polemics against modernity, without which we would still be in the Middle Ages, is constant; ecumenism, at least with us Protestants, is stalled, because “we are not church”. History should teach us that re-igniting Christian “identitarianism”,  betting on a monolithic truth built against everything that does not bend to it and on the reaffirmation, apologetic and triumphalistic together, of an organic vision of its own history, leads inevitably to anti-semitism. It starts with the Jews, but then there’s enough for everyone. We’ll hear and see more of it.