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Italy and same-sex 'marriage'.

Rome -- A backdraft from the Prodi government's attempts earlier this year to extend the full privileges of marriage to co-habiting, including homosexual, couples continues to flare up in various forms. (See C.I., May 2000, p. 24.)

In April, it escalated into a heated accusation that the Church wields too much political influence and teaches hatred. As is now customary, the majority of attacks came from left-leaning politicians and media supporting the homosexual lifestyle.

Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, president of the Italian bishops' conference, had his cathedral defaced after he forcefully restated the Church's teaching on marriage. Then he had to use a bulletproof car, after receiving mail with a bullet and the mark of an Italian terrorist group (Zenit, May 13, 2007). Fake posters were put up in Genoa of Pope Benedict shaking hands with Hitler. However, the Archbishop as well as his predecessor in the Italian bishops' conference, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, have both refused to bow these efforts at intimidation.

Italian homosexual activists were backed by a European Parliament resolution which condemned "discriminatory comments," whether by political or religious leaders. Three activists attempted, but failed, to censure Archbishop Bagnasco in the courts (Nat. Cath. Register, May 6, 2007). In mid-May, another attack on the Church followed an attempt by a conservative politician to block the showing on state television (RAI) of the BBCs so-called documentary, Sex Crimes and the Vatican, which purported to show Vatican involvement in covering up such crimes. (In Canada, the CBC showed it on Sunday, June 17 at 10 p.m.). Described by a centrist politician as "trash journalism," the "documentary" was denounced by British bishops as an "unwarranted attack on Pope Benedict" (Toronto Star, May 22, 2007).

While Italian Premier Romano Prodi, despite divisions in his own party, still hopes to push his civil-unions bill through, he no doubt took note of an unprecedented event on May 12. Hundreds of thousands--the general estimate well over one million--of regular Italian families poured into the square in front of the Basilica of St. John Lateran to register their protests against the proposed legislation and express their support for the traditional mom-dad-and-kids family. Many were there also in protest against the anti-family tax structures of the socialist government. This first annual Family Day was endorsed by the Bishops' Conference, but organized independently by lay groups such as Alleanza Catholica (Zenit, May 17, 2007).

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Title Annotation:Italy
Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Jul 1, 2007
Previous Article:Christian sufferings continue.
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