Talk of Same-Sex Couples and RU-486 Roils Vatican

2 Italian Government Officials Speak Out on Life and Family Issues

VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2006 ( Statements by two officials of the new Italian government on matters of family and life have triggered concern at the Vatican.

In Tuesday’s Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the newspaper published by the Vatican, an article appeared under the headline “Dialectical Acrobatics to the Detriment of the Family.”

The article criticized statements by Rosy Bindi, the new government minister of the family, which open the possibility of public recognition of “de facto couples,” including homosexual couples.

The article observes that Bindi is focusing on this issue instead of responding to the “numerous problems that must be faced in the country, in particular, those that affect the many difficulties that Italian families face daily.”

The newspaper went on to make two points. First, it affirms that “in the debate, it is necessary to distinguish between heterosexual and homosexual couples.”

In the case of the former, the question is already regulated, L’Osservatore Romano clarifies. That is why marriage exists, it states.

The newspaper adds: “One cannot understand why the state has to intervene in the private sphere and protect publicly those who deny” marriage.

An excuse

Second, the newspaper contends that de facto heterosexual couples are used as an excuse to introduce the recognition of homosexual couples.

Public recognition of these couples, “would give them a formidable weapon to give credit to an alternative form of family,” the paper said. “And, where there is family, sooner or later there are, inevitably, children and their rights.”

In today’s edition, L’Osservatore Romano reacts to statements made Monday by the Italian minister of health, Livia Turco, who is in favor of introducing the RU-486 abortion pill.

The newspaper said that the pill has led to “quick homicide.”

“It only tries to offer women the possibility to choose the weapon,” the paper said. “A faster weapon gives the murderer the consolation of not having to think much about it.”

The newspaper appeals to government ministers in general to analyze the implications before they speak, “so as not to wound the sensitivity of those who do not have the same opinion.”

“On topics such as these,” it adds, “instead of exercising immediately the coveted political power, one should test the different sensitivities of the governed.”

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