Archdiocese of Turin to Hold ‘Lenten Retreat’ on Gay Monogamy

News: World News
by Stephen Wynne  •  •  February 5, 2018   

Event will allow gay couples to share monastery bed

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TURIN, Italy ( - The archdiocese of Turin will hold a weekend Lenten "retreat" later this month to teach same-sex couples "lessons of faithfulness."

Titled "Worthy of Loyalty," the February 24–25 event will take place at a convent of the Daughters of Wisdom, a congregation founded by St. Louis de Montfort and Bl. Marie Louise Trichet.

The event will allow gay couples to share monastery beds.

The conference will promote monogamy in same-sex relationships, under the banner of "fidelity and love in the light of the biblical message."

Italy is the last major country in Western Europe to bar full same-sex "marriage."

In July 2015, the European Court of Human Rights declared Italy in breach of human rights by denying same-sex couples marriage or civil unions. Despite opposition from Catholic leaders, the country legalized same-sex civil unions in May 2016.

Archdiocesan official Fr. Gianluca Carrega, a dissenter from Church teaching on homosexual acts, asserts the civil union law has "brought many fruits."

Turin is one of the least Catholic cities in Italy.

But, he says, the measure contains a weakness: it does not establish an obligation to loyalty as part of the "rights and duties" of homosexual partners.

"We can say that everyone deserves an exclusive, unique love," he posits. "The law can decide what the minimum requirements are, but we want to talk about the quality of the relationship."

An instructor in New Testament studies at the Theological Faculty in Turin, Carrega is responsible for the pastoral care of homosexuals in Turin. Acting "in the name and on behalf of the archdiocese," the priest "is one of the very few with an official assignment of this kind in Italy."

Denounced as a "homo-heretic" by conservative Catholic journal Il Timone, he accuses the Church of fostering a "contradiction" in its teaching on homosexual acts.

Turin "gay pride" march

"If a homosexual man or woman has occasional relationships," Carrega argues, "he can confess and receive the sacraments. If it has a stable union and not only a platonic love, the answer is often no."

The heterodox cleric suggests that "in this way, we risk doing so much damage." He says nothing about the fact that same-sex couples live in an obstinate state of mortal sin.

"A believing couple who make a civil union will have to bring their religious faith into cohabitation," Carrega suggests. He contends the Church must, therefore, "reflect on the value of homosexual affectivity."

The dissident priests adds, "Some of the gays who decide to live as a couple find greater serenity and try to remain faithful. And we must value what is beautiful in their lives."

Turin is known as the epicenter of gay activism in Italy.

Enzo Cucco, coordinator of the city's "gay pride" organizing committee, has described Turin as "one of the most gay-tolerant cities in Italy."

He attributes this to the Piedmont region's Protestant influences and its distance from the Vatican, noting "Turin is one of the least Catholic cities in Italy."

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