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Italian Cardinal: Same-Sex Marriages a ‘Trojan Horse’ to Attack Society

Italian Cardinal: Same-Sex Marriages a ‘Trojan Horse’ to Attack Society

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The head of the Italian Bishops Conference rails against 'undermining culturally and socially the core of humanity.'

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who heads the Italian Bishops Conference, is perturbed that many Italian officials have registered (and thus recognized) same-sex marriages performed in countries where such rites are legal. Same-sex couples cannot legally marry in Italy.

Bagnasco denounced civil unions and same-sex marriages at a meeting of Italian Roman Catholic bishops Monday, the U.K.'s Telegraph reports.

"It is irresponsible to weaken the family by creating new forms. ... It only confuses people and has the effect of being a sort of Trojan horse, undermining culturally and socially the core of humanity," he said.

Bagnasco also asserted that children have the right to a mother and a father, a common anti-LGBT talking point that's reminiscent of Pope Francis's recent denunciation of nontraditional families and declaration that the Christian family is under attack. Although the pope's remarks last month did not mention LGBT people specifically, they struck a less conciliatory tone than he (the "who am I to judge" pope) has taken with regard to nontraditional families.

Whether and how to accept or welcome LGBT people has been a prominent topic in Catholicism this year.

During the recent synod in which bishops discussed topics related to family, the Vatican released a document that said the church should recognize positive "gifts and qualities" of gay people and positive aspects of same-sex relationships. Faced with conservative backlash, the Vatican quickly offered a "clarification"and emphasized that the document was an interim report rather than the final word on the matter. The final report did not include the positive language about gay people and same-sex couples. The pope himself appeared to admonish bishops whose efforts blocked the more affirming language in a sermon positing that "God is not afraid of new things."

A recent "Gay in Christ" conference at Catholic university Notre Dame acknowledged the identity of LGBT people but called on gays and lesbians to remain celibate. Notre Dame itself has extended health benefits to the same-sex spouses of its employees while reiterating its opposition to marriage equality.

And Father Gary Meier, a gay priest, has launched a nonprofit initiative called Rising Voices of Faith to advocate for LGBT equality in the church.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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