A woman waves a flag with Italy's national colors as people attend the Family Day rally at the Circus Maximus in Rome Jan. 30. The rally was held to oppose a bill in the Italian Senate that would allow civil unions for homosexual and heterosexual couples. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Recently Catholic World Report
published an article by Italian journalist Alessandra Nucci on how
“Italy is the last remaining nation in Western Europe to hold out
against the recognition of civil partnerships” and how the Church
hierarchy, in particular the Italian Bishops’ Conference, has not always
been as straightforward as desired on this theme.
A few days later the Culture of Life Foundation site published “Italy Debates The Definition Of “Family”…A Half-Century Too Late” by Steve Soukup.
Italy the last stronghold of the Catholic family in Western Europe?
We’ll have to wait until the result of the vote on new prospective
legislation currently under discussion, but there are signs that in
Italy the LGBT movement and similar lobbies are having a more difficult
time than elsewhere.
There are two major innovative elements in
the Cirinnà proposed law (named after the senator Monica Cirinnà who
drafted it) that is now going through the Italian Parliament. One is
granting official status to both heterosexual and homosexual civil
partnerships, making them legally equal to marriages. The other is
giving the civil partners in all these unions the right to adopt each
other’s offspring, thus opening the door to same-sex couples’ adoption
While the various parties in Parliament are negotiating
and fighting over innumerable amendments and counter-amendments to the
bill, the latest opinion polls
have found that a small majority of Italians (between 50% and 60%,
depending on the poll) favor the former but a strong majority (three out
of four) oppose the latter.
Breakdown by political affiliation shows that the majority of right-wing
respondents oppose official status for civil partnerships as well,
although individual Catholic members of Parliament across a broad
spectrum of parties from the Right to the Left are also totally against
It’s interesting to see how in Italy, as in the United
States, public opinion that showed initial resistance to legal
recognition of civil unions (or, in the case of the US, to same-sex
marriage) has gradually changed in recent years, considering that in
2000 only 42% of Italians accepted it. The effect of mainstream media’s
propaganda and the general feeling of fighting a lost battle (and being
“on the wrong side of history”) combine with changing demographics, as
78% of supporters among the under-35s clearly indicates.
Italy is still the only country in Western Europe that does not have a law on civil partnerships.
this mean that Italy is lagging behind, and that countries like the UK
and France are more advanced? This is what I used to think. If I was
asked such a question years ago, my answer would have been “Yes”.
But now I have different views and I wonder: advanced towards what? Our concept of "progress" entirely depends on the final destination we choose.
now believe that the nations which introduced laws to give equal status
to non-married couples and legalised same-sex marriage have advanced on
the road to ruin and perdition, the road leading to hell. Not to
mention human unhappiness in this world as well.
argument in the article mentioned above is that since Italians are
condemned (far from uniquely in the Western world) to demographic
extinction it’s pointless for them to worry about granting official
status to civil partnerships (same-sex and non), stepchild adoption, and
This argument has a very strange logic. For it’s
exactly by reaffirming the value of true marriage and the family, and
therefore by opposing those who wish to equate marriage with other forms
of union while at the same time by explaining the need for Christian
ethics and natural law, that we can hope for society’s recovery,
Furthermore, to say (or imply) that
Italy is lagging behind (by expressions such as “a half-century too
late”), despite its having one of the lowest birth ratesa sure
indicator of a “developed” societyjust because the country doesn’t
easily accept to be dominated and subjected to homophile and sexual
relativist ideas, is tantamount to neglecting an objective sociological
indicator and paying attention only to a subjective ideological
preference of the commentator.
What is very lively in Italy,
although largely ignored or vilified by the media, is the large
grassroots movement of opinion against the Cirinnà bill and what it
An example of the tactics used by the media to attack this movement is the coverage of the Standing Sentinels. All over Italy, in hundreds of towns and cities, silent protests are being held by the Sentinelle in Piedi to protect the natural family founded on the union between man and woman.
They stand in a square or other public place they have been authorized to use, usually reading.
peaceful people generally attract the attention of various left-wing,
anarchist, LGBT and other groups, who stage unauthorized
counter-demonstrations around them, harassing them with shouts, insults,
spitting, pushing, and all sorts of violence, verbal and physical, to
which the Standing Sentinels don’t respond.
The media reports, not
unlike those talking about “sectarian violence” between Christians and
Muslims in Islamic countries where the former are persecuted, tortured
and slaughtered by the latter, describe “conflicts between opposing
groups”, one of which, for good measure, is defined as “ultra-Catholic”
(whatever that means).
The Family Day is another spontaneous movement of laity that has organised protests. On January 30th a huge pro-family demonstration, dubbed “Family Day”,
was held in the Circus Maximus, one of the largest open spaces in Rome,
estimated to have been attended by over a million people and said to
have been the biggest demo of all time, in a country long used to big
I conclude with what the Family Day spokesman Massimo Gandolfini, a neurosurgeon and psychiatrist, declared:
these issues I have specialist knowledge. The entire world literature,
from Freud to today's studies, says that the harmonious growth of the
individual requires the essential presence of the so-called "parental
triad" (child, mom and dad). There is no dissenting voice, except some
theories from the ‘80s supported by the gay lobby, like the studies of
the homosexual researcher Patterson, who recounted the development of
some children of same-sex couples through their self-reports. In reality
they are not really scientific investigations but opinion surveys
carried out by her. There is no scientifically valid study favorable to
the adoption of children by gay couples.