Italy, Pope Face Changes
“The last time Italy tried to grant legal rights to same-sex couples, Pope Benedict XV helped lead the charge that stopped it,” reported the Washington Post. “But as Italian lawmakers open debate Thursday on a new civil unions bill, the Vatican under Pope Francis is taking a very different approach.”
Italy and the Vatican City are the last places in Western Europe where gay couples are not offered legal rights. Some hope that as Italy moves toward the modernization, the Church will lighten up. They believe Pope Francis will be less confrontational and will not “fight this law,” like one Vatican columnist, Massimo Franco. — especially in light of Pope Francis’ statement in 2013:
“If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge… it is not right to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”
Above, Pope Francis is pictured hugging a same-sex couple. Photo and full story on CNN.
Another sign that the Church may not interfere as directly is that Bishop Nunzio Galantino said though Catholic teaching strongly opposes adoption rights for gay couples, and he is against it — he still recognizes society must adapt to unions growing. Both opposers and proponents of the bill have held protests in Italy.
According to Standard Times, Italy’s Senate will debate the civil union legislation on Thursday. However, it will not “equate the partnerships to marriage.”
This new bill from Italy has been announced a year after the European Court of Human Rights agreed that same-sex Italian couples were unfairly denied legal rights by Italy’s government. It seems most citizens will call the bill a compromise — whether it is entirely fair or lacking is up to the individual. Some say the bill is still unfair because “adoption rights would be strictly limited to children who are the biological offspring of same-sex partners,” reports the Washington Post. “In fact, the mere mention of any kind of adoption rights has become the largest point of contention.”