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Aleteia: Sunday, May 10th, marked the 5th annual March for Life in Rome. Thousands of marchers gathered on the Via della Conciliazione in front of St. Peter’s Square to bear witness to the sanctity and inviolability of human life from conception until natural death.
The Guardian: A plan to to challenge young children’s ideas about gender through play at schools in northern Italy – including with a memory game that contains images of male homemakers and female plumbers – has created a storm of protest, with some politicians saying the effort will confuse children about their sexual identity.
Crux (RNS): The Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy “the nation signed with the blood of the cross.”
The Daily Beast: Last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shuttered the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised his fist with the threat of impending military action.
Life News: The Italian health minister gave a recent interview in which she said Italy is a “dying country.” Why? Because abortion has depleted the European nation of its next generations and caused a massive baby shortage.
The Christian Institute: Italy’s highest appeals court has rejected same-sex marriage stating that there is nothing in the constitution to require the Government to redefine marriage.
ANSA: Italy’s highest appeals court on Monday rejected same-sex marriage, saying there was nothing in the Constitution that requires the government to extend marriage rights to gays. However, the Cassation Court added that homosexuals have the right to a “protective” law that would ensure same-sex couples have the same rights as unmarried Italian couples. Neither same-sex marriage nor civil unions between same-sex partners are legally recognized in Italy but some cities, including Rome, have a civil union register.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom has sent the government of Italy a letter and legal memo regarding mayors who are disregarding Italian law and government orders by registering same-sex marriages performed abroad. Italy recognizes neither marriages nor civil unions between members of the same sex.
Fidest: Alliance Defending Freedom has sent the government of Italy a letter and legal memo regarding mayors who are disregarding Italian law and government orders by registering same-sex marriages performed abroad.
National Review: We stood, as for a head of state, and Pope Francis was ushered into the very room in the Vatican in which the bishops held the famous synod on the family this October. With his warm smile and a quiet “Buongiorno,” he opened the historic Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman this Monday in Rome.
Religion News Service: Barbie has had a number of careers in her 55 years — flight attendant, veterinarian, astronaut, even president. Her latest role, however, is raising eyebrows.
Life Site News: The Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio, Luigi Negri, has likened the proposed Italian laws against “homophobia” to a reemergence of fascism and the “dark times of state ideology” in Italy.
Religion News Service: As the Catholic Church wrestles with changing community attitudes on key social issues, a new Italian survey finds more support for abortion, gay rights and euthanasia than for cosmetic surgery.
Religion News Service: Italy’s Catholic bishops have condemned a court ruling that lifts a ban on married couples using sperm donors for artificial insemination, likening the move to playing God.
RNS: Italy’s Catholic bishops have condemned a proposed law that is set to speed up divorce and do away with a three-year separation waiting period.
The Christian Institute: Churches around Europe were subjected to theft, arson and explosions last year, according to a new report. Over 100 incidences of vandalism across eleven European countries are catalogued by a think-tank – the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians.
Zenit: Pro-life leaders from across the world met in Vatican City last Saturday for the first Rome Life Forum, an initiative which organizers plan on holding annually.
Reuters: “An Italian court has ordered a town to recognize the marriage of a gay couple who were wed in the United States, a move that advocates of gay marriage, which is not allowed in Italy, hailed as a first step toward legality. The court in the Tuscan city of Grosseto, in a decision announced late on Wednesday, said the town hall had to transcribe the marriage into its records, giving the two men the same rights as a heterosexual married couple.”
LifeSiteNews: “Italian Deputies Eugenia Roccella and Alessandro Pagano have introduced a bill in Parliament that would establish the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s education, particularly on moral issues.”
LifeSiteNews: “This week, a group of parents told the city administration in the small Tuscan town of Pontassieve that they would not go along with the introduction of the homosexualist ‘gender’ ideology in their schools.”
Catholic News Agency: “‘The people of Italy recognize that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad,’ Roger Kiska, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said Feb. 17.”
Alliance Defending Freedom filed a brief with the European Court of Human Rights Friday in defense of Italy’s sovereign right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The court’s Second Section agreed last week to allow Alliance Defending Freedom to intervene as a third party in defense of the country’s marriage laws.
LA Times: “The International Olympic Committee official who supervised the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, criticized the United States on Wednesday for including openly gay athletes in its official delegation to Sochi, Russia, next month.”
Turtle Bay and Beyond: If you thought Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty is being treated unfairly by A&E, then you have to get a load of what is happening in Italy with regards to media treatment of dissenting views on homosexuality. The government has just issued a new set of guidelines for journalists for how to treat “LGBT” people.
LifeNews: Pro-abortion feminists are not happy that the European Parliament rejected a bill that would have called abortion a human right. In response, in protest, they invaded a local Catholic church in Italy and unfurled a pro-abortion banner on the church’s altar.
LifeSiteNews: An Italian high court has dismissed the sentence in a case of pedophilia on the grounds that there was “romance” involved between the 60 year-old social services worker and the 11 year-old girl in his care.
Italian Catholicism Teacher Comes Under Fire for Asking Students to Rank Sinful Behavior on List That Includes Homosexuality | Christian Post
Christian Post: “The government should not honor requests to punish citizens for engaging in perfectly legitimate and protected free speech,” said ADF Legal Counsel Paul Coleman. “It should not surprise anyone that the subject of sin and morality would occur in an optional lesson on official Catholic teaching. No reasonable person should conclude that this somehow ‘discriminates’ against anybody, especially since the questionnaire never even singled out any particular behavior.” ADF has sent a letter to Italy’s National Anti-Discrimination Office in defense of the teacher.
One News Now: Paul Coleman is one of ADF’s attorneys in Europe and he has written a letter to the office in defense of Mariotti. He points out that the materials were not focused on homosexuality, but only presented the question in light of the subject being taught. “The government should not honor requests to punish citizens for engaging in perfectly legitimate and protected free speech,” he says. “It should not surprise anyone that the subject of sin and morality would occur in an optional lesson on Catholic teaching. No reasonable person should therefore conclude that this somehow discriminates against anybody.”
Alliance Defending Freedom has sent a letter to Italy’s National Anti-Discrimination Office in defense of a teacher who asked students to answer a questionnaire about the morality of a variety of activities in an optional hour of teaching on Catholicism. Two activist groups filed a discrimination complaint simply because one of the activities among the many listed was homosexual behavior.
LifeSiteNews: A new report from the Italian government has revealed that the abortion rate in the country is continuing to decline at the same time as 80-90 percent of Italian gynecologists are refusing to abort babies – the highest number on record.
LifeSiteNews: The mayor of Florence has roused the fury of feminists and the far left after he announced that city hall would recognize an established section of the municipal cemetery of Trespiano dedicated to babies who have died “before birth,” including by abortion.
BBC: “We have a slightly different culture,” he replied. “For us, the concept of sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company. Ours is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our communication, they will eat our pasta. If not, they can avoid it and eat another brand. You can’t please everyone in order to displease no-one. “I wouldn’t do an ad with a homosexual family not because I disrespect gays – they have their right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t think like them and I think that the family we try to address is anyway a classic family.”
LifeSiteNews: The leading sponsor of Italy’s “anti-homophobia” bill, Deputy Ivan Scalfarotto, complained to the L’Espresso newspaper today that the bill is now “incomplete” after amendments watering down the bill were accepted in order to ensure its passage.
Italy: “Gay activists launch complaint against teacher who included homosexuality on list of possible sins”
LifeSiteNews: According to the complaint, made to the National Anti-discrimination Office of the Ministry for Equal Opportunities, the teacher handed out a questionnaire to students asking them to rank from 0 to 10 the gravity of sinfulness of a list of activities, including, “Selling drugs, pollution, war, terrorism, murder, contraceptive methods, abortion, premarital experiences [that lead to] AIDS infection and homosexuality”.
LifeSiteNews: A report by the Italian government has found that more than 80 per cent of gynecologists – in some areas it is believed to be as much as 91 per cent – and over 50 per cent of anesthesiologists and nurses refuse to participate in abortions, and the number is growing. In response, a group of parliamentarians on the left from various parties have attacked the right to conscientious objection, saying that the government must put quotas into place for recruiting doctors willing to abort babies.
Catholic Culture: “In Europe, we have identified 14 laws that are likely to negatively affect the religious liberty of Christians in 15 countries,” said Massimo Introvigne, coordinator of the Observatory on Religious Liberty of the Italian foreign affairs ministry. “Fortunately, Italy is not among them. In 2012, we also reported 169 rulings made in European courts that we judged to be dangerous to the freedom of Christians.” “
Andrew Harrod of Front Page at The Legal Project: Speaking at a conference in Milan, Italy, on May 8, 2013, that city’s archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Scola, called for the abolition of blasphemy laws worldwide. Such a step would significantly help protect globally the freedom of speech and religion desperately needed by Christians in particular while countering Islamic fanaticism with freedom.
Catholic Culture: Italian President Giorgio Napolitano called for a “firm and constant commitment” to battling prejudice against homosexuals, as Italy observed “Anti-Homopobia Day” on May 17.
LifeSiteNews: Some 40,000 pro-life marchers at the March for Life in Italy received a surprise when Pope Francis joined them — driving down the street in his popemobile where the Marcia per la Vita was taking place.
AsiaNews.it: The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will attend Pope Francis’s inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the first time such an event occurs since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054, an important sign for Christian unity.
Catholic Culture: Archbishop Crepaldi said that the protest was organized against him because of “the false and very grave accusation of being intolerant and racist.” He said that gay-rights activists are determined to gain approval for same-sex marriage, and toward that end will accuse all opponents of “homophobia.”
LifeSiteNews: The Italian media is piling on a Venetian high school religion teacher for reportedly saying that participants in the “gay” lifestyle aren’t born that way and should seek therapy.
Washington Post (AP): The Vatican is pressing its opposition to gay marriage, insisting Saturday that children should grow up with a father and a mother after Italy’s high court upheld a lower court ruling and granted custody of a child to his gay mother.
Washington Post: Italian Premier Mario Monti, who is being backed by the Vatican in his bid for re-election, says gay rights issues — including gay marriage —should be decided by Parliament, not his government if he wins.
The Independent: The Vatican has received a generous early Christmas present from European Union chiefs with the announcement that illegal tax exemption from 2006 to 2011, which saved the Catholic Church billions of euros, will not have to be paid back.
Reuters: Italy has appealed a European Court of Human Rights ruling that it violated the rights of a couple carrying cystic fibrosis by preventing them from screening in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos, the Rome government said on Wednesday.
An amendment to Italy’s tax code that would require the Catholic Church to pay taxes on all its properties has hit a speed bump, after it was overturned October 10th by the Council of State, Italy’s highest-ranking court for administrative litigation . . . Despite the amendment having been overturned by the court, the issue is still up in the air, with the Italian government and EU officials reportedly working closely together within the European Union’s internal legal framework to override the court’s authority.
Benjamin Bull at Townhall: There is a movement underway in Europe to remove the tax exemptions churches have enjoyed for centuries. In Spain and Italy this attempt is being broadly pursued, while in Britain it is being done piecemeal.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: On 28 August 2012, the second section of the European Court of Human Rights issued its first judgment concerning access to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This technique of screening and selection of embryos conceived in vitro aims at giving birth to a child who is not suffering from a genetic disease. It stems from this judgment that access to PGD may de facto be considered a human right in Europe, a right indirectly guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights. This judgment is not final; the Italian Government already announced that it will request the referral of the case before the Grand Chamber for reconsideration.
AP: Unemployment in France is 10 percent, but nearly 23 percent for those under the age of 25 . . . In Spain, youth unemployment is over 52 percent; it’s 34 percent in Italy.
AP: The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Italy’s ban on screening embryos for disease before they are implanted in a womb has violated the rights of a couple whose first child was born with cystic fibrosis.
Opinion: Costa and Pavan v. Italy, 280812
Catholic Culture: Italian foreign minister Giulio Terzi has said that a drive to stop anti-Christian atrocities should be a top priority of world leaders.
Weekly Standard: A new chart, set to be released later today by the minority office of the Senate Budget Committee, finds that, in the next five years, “U.S. Per Person Debt To Increase 7 Times Faster Than Italian Debt.”
Italian Study: ‘Gay gene’ survives through generations as female relatives of homosexual men ‘have more babies’
Daily Mail: But a study by Andrea Camperio Ciani, from the University of Padova in Italy, spots a correlation between gay men and their mothers and maternal aunts, who tend to have significantly more children than the relatives of straight men.
Catholic Culture: Italian public opinion remains firmly opposed to same-sex marriage, a new survey shows.
Italian Foreign Minister on attacks against Christians: These massacres must stop, says Terzi; we must defend freedom of religion
StarAfrica.com: The attacks in Nigeria and Kenya on Sunday 29 April left over 20 worshippers dead and numerous injured. “These atrocious and barbaric massacres must stop. Defending freedom of religion is an absolute priority for Italy”, said Minister Terzi.
Reuters on Yahoo: A Moroccan worker in Italy set himself on fire on Thursday in protest at not being paid for months, a day after an Italian businessman set himself alight over a tax dispute, police said.
AFP on Google: Italy’s highest civil court opened the way for homosexuals to have the same rights as heterosexual married couples Thursday, but it upheld a ban on gay marriage and said those celebrated abroad were not valid in Italy.
allAfrica.com: The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ruled that Italy violated human rights principles by spurning African migrants and asylum-seekers on the high seas, a judgment hailed as historic by Amnesty International.
LifeSiteNews.com: Families are a witness to “faith, courage and optimism” when they welcome many children even amid today’s social environment, said Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday.
Legal Periodical by William Saunders: “Does Neutrality Equal Secularism? The European Court of Human Rights Decides Lautsi v. Italy”
William Saunders The Federalist Society Engage Volume 12, Issue 3, November 2011: Religion can be an intensely personal activity. However, the idea that religion is only a private, personal devotion with no public political consequences is relatively new. For many nations in Europe, religion, in particular Catholicism, exerted an important influence over government and politics for centuries. The remnants of this influence still remain in anthems, oaths, and ideologies, not to mention architecture. However, with the rise of an ideology of “strict separation of church and state” in the European Union and the Council of Europe, it has been unclear how countries may incorporate their religious influences and histories into public life and expression. The case of Lautsi v. Italy in the European Court of Human Rights illustrates this struggle between secular ideology and religious faith and affiliation in the European context. The ultimate decision in the case acknowledges that “freedom of religion” need not result in, as the late Richard John Neuhaus put it, the naked public square.1
CNBC: Standard & Poor’s will cut the credit ratings of Italy, Spain and Portugal by two notches and downgrade France and Austria by one notch, a French newspaper said Friday, without citing its sources.
Francis X. Rocca: Pope Benedict’s Interfaith Outreach: As a cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was skeptical about a ‘common concept of God.’
Francis X. Rocca at WSJ.com: This audacious goal has unsettling implications for Catholicism’s relations with other faiths. After all, if religion is of more than merely subjective value, and if its many varieties are not just different expressions of the same reality, it follows that some religions are truer than others. And Benedict has never hidden his conviction of where the truth in its fullness lies. However undiplomatic it may seem in certain contexts, Benedict’s emphasis on objective truth is, by his lights, essential to the agenda for which he prayed in Assisi.
The Guardian: Workers angry with Silvio Berlusconi’s pledges to make it easier for companies to sack employees, but hold back from strike call
NYTimes.com: But a recent published account of a party at Mr. Berlusconi’s home where one female guest performed a striptease dressed as a nun, apparently was more than the Church could stand.
Telegraph: China has called for major strategic concessions from Europe before agreeing to rescue the eurozone, chilling hopes for immediate purchases of Italian bonds.
The Cutting Edge News: Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of “no-go” areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.
Telegraph: The survey of 4,000 women in the continent’s five largest countries found that 76 per cent of Italian housewives were dissatisfied with their lives . . . half of Italian women said they regretted getting married and two-thirds regretted having children.
Telegraph: Italy could recover billions of pounds in taxes by legalising prostitution and setting up licensed brothels, a member of Silvio Berlusconi’s party has proposed.
CNBC: Italian prosecutors have seized documents at the offices of rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s in a probe over suspected “anomalous” fluctuations in Italian share prices, a prosecutor said on Thursday.
LifeSiteNews.com: This week, the lower house of the Italian legislature voted 278-205 to pass a bill that would definitively exclude the possibility of starving and dehydrating vulnerable patients to death. The Advance Directives Bill opens with a specific prohibition of euthanasia or assisted suicide and requires that patients not be denied food and hydration.
LifeSiteNews.com: The lower house of Italy’s parliament has voted to prohibit the starvation and dehydration of patients in a move that is seen as a response to the killing of Eluana Englaro in 2009.
Phyllis Schlafly at The Moral Liberal: I would hate to admit that Italy has more freedom of religion than the United States, where we like to brag about our First Amendment rights . . . A conservative public-interest law firm in the United States, called the Alliance Defense Fund, persuaded the judges to allow 33 members of the European Parliament to intervene in this lawsuit.
LifeSiteNews.com: The archetypal Italian family, with mamma and papa presiding over a noisy dinner table, surrounded by rambunctious children and grandchildren, has become a cultural artifact of the past. Not only are Italians not having children, they are increasingly not even bothering to get married, according to recently released government statistics.