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Italian bishop apologizes for priest's statement that cohabitation is worse than murder

Catholic World News - June 24, 2014

An Italian priest has been pressured by his bishop to apologize for saying that couples living together outside of marriage are guilty of a sin worse than murder.

Father Tarcisio Vicario, a pastor in the town of Cameri, had written in a parish bulletin that a murderer can kill once and then repent, whereas cohabiting couples are continually violating the law of God. Father Vicario had also said that couples who were married outside the Church in civil ceremonies should not be godparents at baptisms.

Reacting to complaints about the priest's statements, Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara wrote that he "sincerely apologizes to all those who were offended by the misleading statements" of the pastor. Father Vicario himself wrote a subsequent statement for his parish bulletin, saying that his earlier comments had been "inappropriate and wrong" and should have been more nuanced.

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