May, 2017

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Pope Francis receives Eskimo style greeting

During the audience with Huntington patients two days ago, the pope individually greeted over 100 of those suffering from the disease, as well as their families.

He spent much more time with them than just exchanging a few words, a gesture that was very appreciated by everyone in attendance.

Attendees provided countless spontaneous gestures. They asked him to bless photos, take selfies, and one woman even asked for an Eskimo kiss. She was just one example of what people did when they had the opportunity to be with the pope in the Paul VI Audience Hall.

Liberation Day in Rome

Rome’s Jewish community  boycott annual Liberation Day march.

On 25 April Italy celebrated the 72nd Festa della Liberazione which marks the country’s liberation from German occupation and fascist rule at the end of world war two.

A public holiday across Italy, all state schools and offices were closed on Tuesday 25 April, as well as many shops. This year many businesses were also closed on Monday 24 April with Italians taking a ‘ponte’, or bridge, between the weekend and the holiday.

The 2017 edition of the annual march by supporters of Associazione Nazionale Partigiani d’Italia (ANPI) has become mired in controversy.

Ruth Dureghello, the president of the city’s Jewish community, said her members would boycott the event over what she describes as ANPI’s toleration of pro-Palestinian associations, saying that she believed ANPI denies the important role played by Roman Jews in the capital’s liberation from nazi-fascism.

ANPI has condemned what it describes as an “ongoing shameful offensive” against its organisation, calling for “unity and massive participation.”

In Rome the day was marked with a ceremony at the Altare della Patria, attended by Italian president Sergio Mattarella, at 09.00.

The liberation was also observed in other areas of the capital including Pigneto, which celebrated the 16th edition of the day-long festival Pigneto, Quartiere in Festa on 25 April.