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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Italian cardinal is denouncing the country's newly passed legislation legalizing gay civil unions.
Speaking Tuesday at the opening of the Italian bishops' general assembly, Cdl. Angelo Bagnasco, who heads the Italian Bishops' Conference, slammed the decision earlier this month from Italy's Parliament to recognize the civil unions of same-sex couples. Describing the measure as a step "on the path to the final strike," the cardinal, who serves as archbishop of Genoa, maintained the language of the law, while affirming "that civil unions and marriage are different things" also "certifies an equivalence" between the two that can blur the lines of distinction.
Such "differences are only tricks of terminology or juridical artifacts," Cdl. Bagnasco asserts, "which can be easily bypassed."
Paraphrasing remarks made in 2013 by Pope Francis, the cardinal emphasized the "complementarity" that lies at the "foundation of marriage and the family"; because of this, he continued, "children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's growth and emotional development." The family is, Cdl. Bagnasco concluded, "the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation."
The passage made Italy the last Western European nation to approve such legislation, after nearly 30 years of resistance led by the Vatican. "The wall erected mostly by the Vatican against civil rights in this country has fallen, so it is a historically and politically important moment," noted one gay rights activist.
However, according to Cdl. Bagnasco, the people of Italy "want the parliament to be committed" to addressing real issues, including poverty and unemployment. The Italian government spent months finetuning a law that only impacts a tiny percentage of the population, he said, instead of combating the youth unemployment rate, which is nearly at 40 percent nationwide.
Italy is showing a lack of "hope in tomorrow and courage in generating new life," he surmised.
The cardinal also delved into the issue of gender identity, labeling it "a mistake of the human mind." The driving force behind gender ideology, he asserted, could very well be "an expression of frustration and resignation, which seeks to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it."