Forza Nuova (New Force, FN) extraparliamentary group has said it will “control” Sunday’s Mass in the Tuscan city of Pistoia by a priest criticized by anti-immigrant groups for taking a group of migrants to the local swimming pool.
“We will guarantee a large presence at Father (Massimo) Biancalani’s Mass”, said FN.
Pistoia Bishop Fausto Tardelli reacted by saying that the Mass will be “presided over” by his vicar-general.
“I think they’re really going over the limit here,”” said the bishop.
“I only hope they’re joking, although the joke seems to me in bad taste”.
Anti-immigrant Northern League (LN) leader Matteo Salvini slammed Biancalani after he took a group of migrants to a swimming pool in Pistoia last Sunday.
“This “Massimo Biancalani, an anti-LN, anti-Fascist and I’d say anti-Italian priest, is a parish priest at Pistoia, It’s not fake news, it’s all true. Have a good swim,” Salvini said on Facebook.
Father Biancalani had posted photos of the young migrants in the water, saying: “Today it’s the swimming pool! They are my homeland, racists and Fascists my enemies.” The post spawned hundreds of comments, for and against, and the photos were blocked.
The priest later posted a photo of the migrants’ bicycles with their tires pierced after the incident.