Italy: In the face of demonstrations in favor of PACS

Source: FSSPX News


With the announcement of demonstrations planned at Rome and Milan on January 13, L’Osservatore Romano published in its January 13 edition, which was dated 14, an article entitled “The shortcuts of provocation” penned by Francesco D’Agostino, president of the Union of Italian Catholic Lawyers. Regretting “the convening, in a square right in the middle of Rome, of a demonstration for the civil blessing of the union of individuals, more or less known in the media, by other people endowed with a responsibility which they owe to their institutional office,” Francesco D’Agostino declared that he was “still waiting for a consistent argument in favor of the legal recognition of PACS,” as they are nothing more than “slogans”, “processions and invective”, “absurd generalizations which lump together clericalism and the defense of marriage, calling the anticlericals to the meeting, as if the struggle in favor of PACS were a struggle for civil rights oppressed by religious obscurantism.” “It is above all, in the realm of provocation that the debate seems to be taking place” on civil unions.

 If “the battle of ideas is always welcome in a democratic society,” said the Italian lawyer, “without a shadow of a doubt”, this plan masks “a profoundly different request,” which is “the legal recognition of homosexual couples.” “Intellectual honesty would wish us to speak only of that,” he said, condemning the fact that “the debate is systematically evaded, because no one is able to furnish consistent arguments to demonstrate the necessity of altering, in such a crude and radical way, the heterosexual structure of marriage, which belongs to all cultures and to our entire history.”

 Francesco D’Agostino recalled that “the family must be defended” and that “in order to defend it, there is no need of theological or religious arguments, shared human arguments suffice.” Finally, he expressed the wish for “a sustained dialogue” which consists of “being able to abandon recourse to provocations and demonstrations in piazzas which are of very little help to the argument and the progress of ideas.”

 On the same afternoon of January 13, around thirty members of the Italian homosexual Association ‘Arcigay’ demonstrated at the frontier between Italy and the Vatican City State, in front of St.Peter’s Square. On a banner, the homosexual militants denounced “two thousand years of discrimination” and demanded that “the Church leave the State.” They also meant to commemorate the suicide by fire of the homosexual poet Alfredo Ormando, on January 13 1998, in front of the Vatican Basilica. In reaction to the editorial of the daily paper of the Holy See the organizers of the demonstration urged the Holy See “not to enter in to the decisions of a sovereign and secular State such as Italy.”

 The afternoon of January 14; several thousand demonstrators gathered in Rome and Milan to demand recognition of homosexual unions and the right to abortion. In Rome, in front of the Farnese palace, Giovanni Palombarini, vice-procurer of the Court of Appeal, celebrated the symbolic civil union, homosexual and heterosexual, of about ten Italian elected politicians. Slogans on their banners read: “We will no longer be silenced.”

 In Milan, police estimated 50,000 demonstrators – 100,000 according to the organizers. Dario Fo, a Nobel Litterature prize winner, declared to journalists: “We thought the Church had stopped meddling in Italian politics (…) on the contrary, there is a major resurgence. These are bad signs for freedom of expression.” In reply, Roberto Calderoli, Minister of Reforms and a member of the Northern League, spoke in condemnation: “These demonstrations have totally sickened me.” “In an absurd manner, these disgusting things have demanded privileges on the basis of unproductive sex. (…) It is revolting.”

 On January 15, the Italian daily paper, La Repubblica published an interview given by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. “The demonstration in favor of PACS,” declared the Colombian cardinal, “has created confrontation and confusion.” “For the first time in the history of all cultures, of all religions, of all ethnic groups, what has always been valued as good in all notions of nature, philosophy and theology, has been compromised: marriage is the union of a man with a woman,” he pointed out. “If the idea that we are faced with a union of two people – of the same sex – is accepted, then anything is possible: union between many people, union with no regard for age limits, polygamy, incest.” Cardinal Lopez Trujillo said that “all this” had come about solely “because a majority had asserted itself in parliament,” saying that “the workings of the majority should not be confused with democracy.”

 “We are facing an immense philosophical, legal and theological confusion,” explained the cardinal, and we must not forget that a law is good only if it benefits the community and man.” He considers PACS as a false currency in circulation,” and if some people “want to take advantage of the same civil benefits as with marriage,” these same persons promise nothing to society, to the State, nor to each other.”

 “I assure you that there are no instincts, even erroneous ones, which can not be led back to normality according to human reason and dignity,” he continued.

 Condemning experiments with the abortifacient pill RU 486 in Italy, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family voiced his opposition to “the tragedy of poor women in distress who succumb to media pressure and public opinion, and are driven to an abortion (…) instead of being helped.” Cardinal Lopez Trujillo concluded by recalling that “the Church is the government’s best ally for the good of man.”

 In response to this interview, Daniele Capezzone, secretary of the Italian Radicals, called it “the return of the Inquisition, of racism and the worst nightmares in the history of the human race”. He observed that the Church seemed to have “lost the sense of the theological virtue of Charity” and asked that “in the face of this latest provocation, Italy’s politicians may not remain silent and on their knees as they usually do.”