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UPDATE: Italian Christmas 2017 (Translated by James C.):

No mass planned for Christmas Eve night: too many delinquents around.

It’s a sad story, one that comes in the news from Bari. For once, the spirit of Christmas and its signs are not driven away because of the troublesome policies of intolerant tolerance, such as banning nativity scenes in schools.

No. This time, the Church has to retreat. There is no trace of the repeated and constant invitation of Pope Francis to be an outgoing Church, to take mercy from the feet of the altars and bring it out among the people, especially among the humble and disenchanted. The Libertà district runs away. Santa Cecilia’s parish priest puts it bluntly: “At night there’s a curfew.” More explicit is his fellow priest of St. Charles Borromeo parish: “At night here it has become terrible. We’re all afraid. There is little light, nobody is out walking anymore. Sometimes I see immigrants armed with sticks. I have repeatedly reported the phenomenon of “hive houses” and prostitution rings among women in the African community, but nothing happens. ”

Something, to tell the truth, happens: in the evening doors of churches are locked and liturgical celebrations canceled, even those of Christmas, because of fear. Understandable, even right. It is a warning that usually, when it concerns the common citizen, is hastily chalked up to racism and now is at the point where it becomes what really is, at least for the most part: a public order problem.