On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI sharply criticized a proposed law, just approved by the Italian cabinet, granting co-habiting couples certain legal rights. The pope called the pending law a “subversive” plan.
“No Law made by man can subvert the law made by the Creator without society being drastically damaged in its foundations,” the pontiff told a group of Catholic academics meeting for a seminar on natural law.
The government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi is determined to press ahead. The bill grants Italy’s estimated 560,000 cohabitating couples many benefits traditionally reserved for marriage – including inheritance rights, welfare benefits and input on medical decisions.
The legislation threatens to split Prodi’s narrow center/left coalition, with the government’s minister of justice boycotting the cabinet session in which the bill was approved. Justice Minister Clemente Mastella, a member of a Catholic party in the coalition, says he opposes the bill because “it seeks solutions and guarantees which imitate marriage.”
Warned Deputy Speaker of the Senate Roberto Calderoli: “They are destroying the family. This is just a Trojan horse to allow marriage between gays.”
The World Congress of Families applauds the pope’s firm stand against marriage substitutes, and salutes those brave Italian parliamentarians willing to oppose an arrangement which will surely weaken the family.
World Congress of Families President Dr. Allan Carlson warned: “Italy has one of the lowest birthrates in the world – 1.2 children per woman. (Replacement level is 2.1.) By the middle of this century, Italy could lose half its current population. The Italian government should be encouraging marriage, and celebrating large families. Instead it wants to make it easier for Italians not to marry and to promote sterile unions.”
World Congress of Families IV is meeting in Warsaw, May 11-13, 2007. Like the pope, we believe cohabitation, same-sex marriage and marriage substitutes all undermine the natural family.
The Warsaw Congress proposes to counter demographic decline by strengthening families, encouraging childbearing and pushing for family-friendly government policies.
For more information on World Congress of Families IV, visit our website –www.worldcongress.org. To schedule an interview with Allan Carlson, contact Larry Jacobs at (815) 964-5819 or