Silvio Citroni, the mayor of Cevo where the weird coincidence took place, called it "an inexplicable tragedy." "This is a place for pilgrimages and family visits. We never imagined that something this could happen," added the mayor. Just days ahead of the canonization of Pope John Paul ll as a saint a crucifix that was built in his honor has collapsed and killed 21-year-old Marco Gusmini.
Additionally it is being reported by the Corrie della Sera that Gusmini and his family resided on a street named for the other pope, John XXlll, who is being canonized a saint alongside John Paul ll.
In the comments section of the Yahoo News coverage of this story one reader said this:
ROFL. Now, where are all the people who claim omens and signs? Shouldn't this be considered an act of an angry god--po'd at having this pope canonized?
A fair question, I suppose, although I don't see how anyone could think this is something to be "rolling on the floor laughing" about.
I've seen the before-the-tragedy pictures of the crucifix memorial and thought it looked like an accident waiting to happen. (I don't want to infringe anyone's copyright so I'm not posting an image, however they are readily found online.) I also read the memorial had been moved from its original location, which, if true, could have weakened the structure.
The cross memorial was the work of late sculptor Enrico Job, whose widow, Lina Wertmuller, made this comment:
The news has really shaken me. My thoughts go to the poor boy and his family. That cross was a great symbol for Italy, a symbol of protection. But all that seems silly in the face of this terrible tragedy.
For the record, I've always thought the practice of putting fellow humans upon a pedestal is silly. There are good people, better people, and all manner of less than good folks. Even the best of us are more full of faults than the standard kitchen strainer is full of holes.
It doesn't take a tragedy of this sort to repudiate this practice. (And, yes, I have to say I think this criticism applies to those who think Jesus was/is God, rather than a spiritual teacher.)