Vatican Cardinal: No Papal Blessing for Matteo Salvini

Saturday, May 4, 2019
By Paul Martin

4 May 2019

A close collaborator of Pope Francis said this week that the Vatican would never give a papal blessing to Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, comparing him to an abortion clinic and Venezuelan dictators.

The papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, responsible for distributing charitable gifts on behalf of Pope Francis, said that parchments conveying the pope’s blessings can be requested for religious occasions such as first communions, confirmations, weddings, and anniversaries, but they cannot be given to people if this would produce scandal.

“But we do not give these to everyone,” Krajewski told the Italian daily Il Messaggero. “Could we ever give one, just as an example, to a hospital where abortions take place? Or can we give one to certain characters in Venezuela who are asking us for one? No, certainly not.”

“As another example, if Salvini asked us for one, we would deny it,” the cardinal said.

According to Il Messaggero, the reason the Vatican would refuse Salvini, a Catholic, a request for a papal blessing is his tough policies to rein in illegal immigration just as the Vatican is pushing for greater openness to migrants.

The newspaper reported that a different cardinal told Salvini several months ago that he would “never receive a papal audience” if he did not modify the policy of closed ports.

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