I cannot remain silent (December 1953)

Certain passages in Pius XII’s Christmas message mentioning “aspiring charismatic auctioneer” lead La Pira to feel he has been implicitly brought to book for his political initiatives in the Pignone. This phrase was obviously taken as a move to isolate the mayor and a strict order to return to clear, anti-communist policies and to stop dabbling in social initiatives.

La Pira’s answer is heartbroken but firm:

… how can I lead a city in which the entire industrial system consisting of three companies fundamental to the city are scythed or are threatened with closure

The tide of laid-off workers and their families come to me in the town hall in Palazzo Vecchio. To me the Mayor who’s on the same side as the government – a Christian Democrat mayor they think. They come to me asking for work and help!

And what could I do? What could I say? “it’s the economic situation”? Most blessed Father how painful the lie behind these sophisticated words! “Downsizing”!. For someone like me who knows the real potential that companies have of offering work, who is familiar with the fabric of immorality and inequality that often hide behind these words that look so morally upright, like lily-white sepulchres!

…I can never give my stamp of approval to iniquity. I know not the tools of the “political and diplomatic complex”. I spoke clearly to the Fascists, I spoke clearly, or rather I spoke even more clearly to the communists, and I speak clearly, too, to the factory owners who are unaware of the great responsibility God has given then to harbour talent.

I cannot stand by in silence and powerless before the injustices that are perpetrated in the apparent name of he law.

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