Italian Catholic Bishop: More Dialogue Needed Around Homosexuality

The head of the Italian bishops conference tells a Florence newspaper that the Catholic Church must listen to all arguments around homosexuality.

BY Michael O'Loughlin

May 15 2014 1:29 PM ET

Nunzio Galantino

The head of the Italian conference of Catholic bishops says the church must listen to all arguments around homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

According to the Tablet, Nunzio Galantino, bishop of Cassano all'Jonio in southern Italy, told a Florence newspaper that the Catholic Church should be more willing to engage in dialogue around difficult issues.

“My wish for the Italian Church is that it is able to listen without any taboo to the arguments in favor of married priests, the Eucharist for the divorced, and homosexuality,” he said. 

Echoing Pope Francis, who said last year that the church had become “obsessed” about fighting abortion and same-sex marriage, Galatino said other important issues were being ignored.

“In the past we have concentrated too much on abortion and euthanasia. It mustn’t be this way, because in the middle there’s real life, which is constantly changing.

“I don’t identify with the expressionless person who stands outside the abortion clinic reciting their rosary, but with young people, who are still against this practice, but are instead fighting for quality of life, their health, their right to work,” he said.

The 65-year-old Galantino, who was appointed interim secretary-general of the Italian bishops conference last December by Pope Francis, said he believes the pope represents an opportunity for liberalizing church teaching.

“With Pope Francis the Italian Church has an extraordinary opportunity to reposition itself on spiritual moral and cultural beliefs,” he said.

Catholic bishops from around the world will meet at the Vatican this October to discuss issues related to family life, including same-sex relationships and pastoral care for LGBT people.

Follow Michael O’Loughlin on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.

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