Italian Bishop Decries Civil-Unions Bill, Stresses Papal Defense of Natural Family

THE VATICAN (Friday, May 20, 2016, Gaudium Press) In a powerful speech Tuesday at the opening of the Italian bishops’ general assembly, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa decried the civil-unions bill passed in the nation’s parliament last week, emphasizing that Pope Francis himself always advocates for the natural family.card B.jpg

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference peppered his May 17 speech with several lengthy quotes from Francis and lamented that the Pope’s affirmations of the family are so often ignored in the mainstream press.

The annual gathering of the Italian bishops, May 16-19, is on the topic of “Renewal of the Clergy.” Pope Francis began the assembly with a brief speech on the priesthood on Monday, followed by a closed-door question-and-answer session with the bishops.

Italy’s civil-unions bill passed May 11.

Championed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the bill passed the Chamber of Deputies by a 369-193 vote of confidence for Renzi. It had already passed the Senate in February, after being watered down “to win the backing of conservative and Catholic senators,” according to The Guardian.

The bill affords couples in civil unions many of the rights of married couples, but its concession added to gain the support of some conservative senators is that parental rights are not granted to non-biological parents in a civil union.

Sen. Monica Cirinna, who sponsored the bill, said the watered-down version is a “hollow victory” and only “a first step,” according to the BBC.

Cardinal Bagnasco decried the new law and said that it “certifies an equivalence” between civil unions and marriage, even “though the law affirms that civil unions and marriage are different things.”

More by Gaudium Press  Gothic Art: A Reflection of the Spirit of the Church

Source National Catholic Register

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