Catholic World News

Leading Italian prelate suggests priorities, speaks against same-sex unions

January 26, 2016

In an address to the permanent council of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the body’s president, suggested four priorities for the next five years: the Church’s missionary nature, the family, the school, and the poor.

Taking note of the “heated debate” over the family—the Italian parliament will soon discuss whether to legalize homosexual civil unions—Cardinal Bagnasco said on January 25 that if the family is a treasure, then children are the diamond and that “their true good must prevail over any other.”

While Italian society is divided on the political issue, the cadrrdinal said, there is no division among teh country's bishops. "The bishops are united," he stressed. Here Cardinal Bagnasco may have been responding to rumors of differences between the Italian bishops' conference and the Holy See, since Pope Francis has avoided direct comment on Italy's political affairs. However the cardinal too indicated that lay people should take the lead on this issue, noting that it is the role of lay people to "inscribe divine law into the life of the earthly city."

Quoting Pope Francis, Cardinal Bagnasco said that “there can be no confusion between the family as willed by God, and every other type of union” and that “children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother.”

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