Salvini Supporters ‘Cannot Call Themselves Christians,’ Says Opponent

Italy
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

ROME — A presidential candidate for Italy’s Umbria region, whose elections will take place October 27, has denounced his opponents from the center-right as non-Christians because of Matteo Salvini’s resistance to open ports.

“Those who support Salvini cannot call themselves Christians,” said candidate Andrea Fora, because “he rejects the commandment to love,” referring to the former interior minister’s efforts to rein in illegal mass immigration.

Mr. Fora is sponsored by the leftist Democrat Party (PD), which has historically been at odds with the Catholic Church because of its support for abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, gender theory in schools, and other issues.

As the leaders of Italy’s center-right — Matteo Salvini, Silvio Berlusconi, and Giorgia Meloni — attended Family Day in Perugia on Thursday, along with their candidate for Umbria, Donatella Tesei, Mr. Fora reiterated his decision not to sign a pro-family manifesto put forward by the group.

Mr. Fora has said that as a Catholic he is “personally opposed” to the abortion pill and euthanasia, but believes that such issues should be left to the conscience of each person.

Fora also slammed Mr. Salvini for preaching family values while he himself is divorced, saying he would stop there “out of decency.”

While touting his own Catholic credentials, Mr. Fora joined a number of Catholic prelates who have criticized Salvini for referring to himself publicly as a Catholic, holding rosary beads and making reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Because of his strong position against mass migration, Mr. Salvini earned himself the wrath of much of the Italian Church establishment and has been denounced as satanic and the “anti-Christ.”

Responding to Mr. Fora’s suggestion that Salvini supporters should not call themselves Christian, Salvini told journalists Thursday: “I will pray for him.”

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