Di Canio must renounce fascism - Dean of Durham

Durham Times: The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, the Dean of Durham The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, the Dean of Durham

A LEADING churchman whose Jewish mother fled Nazi Germany as a teenager has called on Paolo Di Canio to renounce fascism, saying the new Sunderland boss’ politics were “deeply troubling”.

The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, the Dean of Durham, said fascism was nearly the undoing of the world, the North-East would not understand Di Canio’s “fascist, not racist” distinction and unless he renounced fascism, he would be associated with far-right groups such as the British National Party.

The Dean’s open letter, published on his blog, came as pictures emerged of Di Canio mourning at the funeral of Italian fascist leader Paolo Signorelli, who was jailed for – although later cleared of – the bombing of Bologna station in 1980 which killed 85.

Campaign group Kick It Out called on the 44-year-old to state his commitment to anti-racism, while former teammate Chris Powell called his appointment “a bold decision” but sidestepped political questions.

Di Canio will take charge of his first game on Sunday, as Sunderland travel to Chelsea.

But police are already focused on the following Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby, which will be even more tense given this week’s events.

Chief Superintendent Steve Neill called on both Newcastle and Sunderland fans to help make the match a success, but said trouble would not be tolerated.

In his blog entry, the Dean, whose mother, Dorothee Lyser, fled Dusseldorf as Nazi persecution of the Jews intensified, says Di Canio’s support for Benito Mussolini is “baffling” and he would be naive to think politics and sport could be separated.

He asks whether Di Canio or Sunderland want youngsters to admire fascism, says the club stands to lose support across the world and it “feels hard” to stay loyal.

Yesterday (Tuesday, April 2), Di Canio blasted the furore over his appointment as “ridiculous and pathetic”.

But the row has already led former Foreign Secretary David Miliband to quit as the club’s vice-chairman and the Durham Miners’ Association to demand the return of a colliery banner kept at the Stadium of Light.

Comments (5)

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3:29pm Wed 3 Apr 13

Voice-of-reality says...

Dear Sadgrove,

May he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Sort your own house (church) out before telling others what to do.

Here are some questions you might like to answer - in a single line - that's all it will take (as you suggested in your letter to PDC).

1. Does the Church of England discriminate against women in their ability to be appointed to high jobs in the Church?
2. Does the church....as before.. with gay people?
3. Is the church an equal opportunity organisation?
4. Is it necessary to believe in the virgin birth to be a Bishop? Surely beliefs are important (be they political or religious) and especially in light of your letter
5. Did the Church seek to 'keep sunday special' whilst owning the Metro Centre?
6. If you get a free house with your job - should you a) be thankful and humble and not ‘show off your wealth’ by buying one in France. b) Open up your home for others less fortunate – especially if you are a man of god c). donate your time to charitable work rather than painting
7. Has the Church done everything it can to get rid of abusive priests?
8. Are you interested in the glory of God, or the glory of yourself?
9. Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘hypocrite’? – You are after all a sophisticated man unlike the rest of the North East (to paraphrase your own arrogant, self righteous, ignorant, belittling and sneering views as to the abilities of others within the region) – many of whom pay towards your upkeep through the collection plate

10. Finally, in light of your answers to the above: when will you resign?
Dear Sadgrove, May he who is without sin cast the first stone. Sort your own house (church) out before telling others what to do. Here are some questions you might like to answer - in a single line - that's all it will take (as you suggested in your letter to PDC). 1. Does the Church of England discriminate against women in their ability to be appointed to high jobs in the Church? 2. Does the church....as before.. with gay people? 3. Is the church an equal opportunity organisation? 4. Is it necessary to believe in the virgin birth to be a Bishop? Surely beliefs are important (be they political or religious) and especially in light of your letter 5. Did the Church seek to 'keep sunday special' whilst owning the Metro Centre? 6. If you get a free house with your job - should you a) be thankful and humble and not ‘show off your wealth’ by buying one in France. b) Open up your home for others less fortunate – especially if you are a man of god c). donate your time to charitable work rather than painting 7. Has the Church done everything it can to get rid of abusive priests? 8. Are you interested in the glory of God, or the glory of yourself? 9. Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘hypocrite’? – You are after all a sophisticated man unlike the rest of the North East (to paraphrase your own arrogant, self righteous, ignorant, belittling and sneering views as to the abilities of others within the region) – many of whom pay towards your upkeep through the collection plate 10. Finally, in light of your answers to the above: when will you resign? Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 5

3:33pm Wed 3 Apr 13

Voice-of-reality says...

And finally, if as Christians, people and organisations are supposed to lead by example... if PDC must renounce fascism when will YOU and YOUR church renounce:
Bigotry
Discrimination
Sexual Prejudice
The hiding of abusive priests
Members of the clergy (such as the former Bishop of Durham - not the former oil man who has just been promoted) who seem not to believe in the Virgin birth
Clerics who seek to promote themselves at a time when there are job vacancies - surely not just a coincidence.
And finally, if as Christians, people and organisations are supposed to lead by example... if PDC must renounce fascism when will YOU and YOUR church renounce: Bigotry Discrimination Sexual Prejudice The hiding of abusive priests Members of the clergy (such as the former Bishop of Durham - not the former oil man who has just been promoted) who seem not to believe in the Virgin birth Clerics who seek to promote themselves at a time when there are job vacancies - surely not just a coincidence. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 4

3:50pm Wed 3 Apr 13

Clint Magnum says...

" I can promise you that this distinction will be lost on the people of the North East".
How patronising. Why do people give these priests such a voice.
What qualifications do these priests have to enable them to speak on behalf of thousands of other? They are not highly educated, not in politics nor life experience withinh the communties they cover. They simply got where they are by believing in a God and trying to push it on others.
His opinion and the opinion of his church peers mean nothing to me.
He lost any credibility when he starts a sentence with the words "As a believer".
" I can promise you that this distinction will be lost on the people of the North East". How patronising. Why do people give these priests such a voice. What qualifications do these priests have to enable them to speak on behalf of thousands of other? They are not highly educated, not in politics nor life experience withinh the communties they cover. They simply got where they are by believing in a God and trying to push it on others. His opinion and the opinion of his church peers mean nothing to me. He lost any credibility when he starts a sentence with the words "As a believer". Clint Magnum
  • Score: 4

4:57pm Wed 3 Apr 13

behonest says...

"Di Canio must renounce fascism - Dean of Durham"

Why - because some religious nutter (who attempts to blur the definition of fascism) says so? Stop being anti-gay, anti-women, pro-child abuse, etc, etc, and the public may take the church a bit more seriously. Unlikely though.
"Di Canio must renounce fascism - Dean of Durham" Why - because some religious nutter (who attempts to blur the definition of fascism) says so? Stop being anti-gay, anti-women, pro-child abuse, etc, etc, and the public may take the church a bit more seriously. Unlikely though. behonest
  • Score: 3

5:16pm Wed 3 Apr 13

David Lacey says...

Well said everyone. If there is one thing sicker than fascism it is religion.
Well said everyone. If there is one thing sicker than fascism it is religion. David Lacey
  • Score: 3

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