|Don Livio Fangaza, spiritual advisor and|
program director of Radio Maria Italy
and Director of World Family of Radio
(Rome) Don Livio Fanzaga, program director of Radio Maria Italy was recently noticed for purges against critics of Pope Francis, but "there are also pleasant surprises," says the traditional website Messa in Latino.
In the World Family of Radio Maria, Don Livio occupies a central position. He is spiritual director and program director of Radio Maria Italy, the oldest among the many Radio Maria stations, of which there are four in the German-speaking world. And he is at the same time director of the World Family.
Purge against critics of Pope Francis
The purges began in October 2013. Those purged were employees who had been critical of gestures, decisions and statements by Pope Francis, including long-term employees who had helped to shape the profile of the broadcaster. Here no one had voiced his criticism on Radio Maria but in other media. However, Don Livio wasn't concerned with such details. "You don't criticize the Pope," reads the verdict of the program director.
The first employees who were been shown the door were the congenial author duo Mario Palmaro and Alessandro Gnocchi. Both had worked ten years at the broadcaster and each was responsible for his own show. On October 10, 2013, the legal philosopher Palmaro and journalist Gnocchi published in the daily newspaper Il Foglio, a lively but justified criticism of Pope Francis, under the title "Christ is not an option among many, and certainly not for his representative on earth".
Scarcely had Don Livio heard about it, than he gives his two employees a "polite phone call". He did not discuss the content of the call. "Father Livio is of the opinion that you can not be a presenter at Radio Maria and criticize the Pope," said the dismissed employees. Even when the Pope personally made a phone call to the the already seriously ill Palmaro and expressed understanding for the criticism, nothing changed.
On February 13, 2014, Radio Maria separated itself from the famous historian Roberto de Mattei. On the eve that de Mattei had published the essay "The End of Civilization - Who loves the Church, Defends Her. De Mattei had been designated since 2010 his own show at Radio Maria. The correspondence between the dismissal Don Livio Fanzaga and Professor de Mattei was of the latter published.
On November 24, 2014 Gianpaolo Barra, the chief editor of the Catholic monthly magazine was Il Timone was removed from the broadcaster. He had expressed no criticism of Pope Francis. His "guilt" consisted in refusing to disinvite one the Pope's critics f Antonio Socci from Timone Festival, an event that is unrelated to Radio Maria. Antonio Socci had recently published his book "Non è Francesco" (This is Not Francis). The rector of the Academy of Television Journalism in Perugia doubts the legality of the election of Pope Francis. Because Barra had hesitated in the eyes of Don Livio to purge, he himself was even purged.
"... Or you jump out of the window"
On March 13, 2014 on the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis and less than 24 hours after the funeral much beloved and much too early departed Mario Palmaro, Don Livio commented on his purges on Radio Maria Italy. His exact words were: "Lately, I had to make a nice clean sweep among those responsible for the programs of Radio Maria ... Some I had to bring down from the Chair and put on a simple stool ... Because it must be clear: either one eats this soup [Pope Francis ] or you jump out the window ... "
A "Pleasant Surprise"
But there are also "pleasant surprises" as Messa in Latino remarked. Such a "pleasant surprise" is the latest book Don Livio Fanzaga published, "La vita devota" (The religious life, ed. Sugarco, Milan 2015). On page 13 Don Livio writes:
"In practical terms the liturgical reform had unexpected consequences by way of unpleasant deviations and abuses of a general permission to hand Communion, through lack of care in the storage of the consecrated Hosts, up to serious theological errors expressed by those who cast doubt on the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament."
In the World Family of Radio Maria there are currently 75 stations connected together on all five continents, including four TV channels in German: Radio Horeb Radio Maria Austria, Radio Maria Südtirol and Radio Maria German-speaking Switzerland. The individual channels are independent in organization and program design.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Messa in Latino
Image: Messa in Latino
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org