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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - A gay couple favored by a phone call from Pope Francis and featured in the documentary Francesco are not only "married" but also hired a lesbian surrogate to have three children, Church Militant has learned.
Andrea Rubera and Dario De Gregorio, who are credited with convincing the pope that "homosexuals have the right to have a family," were "married" in Canada in 2009 and had three children in Canada through lesbian surrogate mother Kerilyn.
Rubera appears in gay filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky's documentary Francesco presented at the Rome Film Festival last week.
The Italian couple arranged for Rubera's sperm to first be used to create daughter Artemisia. This was followed by De Gregorio's sperm used in the reproduction of twins Chloe and Iacopo.
Italian law expressly prohibits medically assisted procreation to protect children from being turned into commodities, as well as to protect surrogate mothers from exploitation by treating the surrogate mother as a means to an end.
A leading Rome-based canonist told Church Militant that the "Instruction On Respect For Human Life In Its Origin And On The Dignity Of Procreation Replies To Certain Questions Of The Day," issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 1987, clearly prohibits artificial insemination, surrogate pregnancy and the intentional deprivation of the conceived child's right to his natural mother and father united in the bonds of holy matrimony.
These are "all traits of the relationship between the two sodomites whom Francis was referencing as an example of a couple deserving of certain 'rights,'" the canonist stated.
The homoparental duo applauded Francis for unconditionally welcoming them into the Church as a homosexual couple with children. In 2015, Rubera handed the pontiff a letter at Santa Marta where his parish was having a meeting, pleading:
Both Dario and I are Catholics. We grew up in the parish as scout leaders. For us it was important our children could also attend parish activities, but we were doubtful if this could be a pitfall for the children and cause them stress and displeasure because of our family.
Two days later, Francis phoned Rubera: "I'm Pope Francis. I called you twice, but you didn't answer. I read your letter. It's beautiful, and I understood your point of view."
Francis urged him to go to the parish and "tell with transparency" exactly what the two parents wanted for their children, narrates Rubera.
"Certainly not everyone will share your choice to have a family like this, but I think you should go to the parish because it is good for your children. You will see that you will find welcome, everything will be fine," Pope Francis stressed.
"We didn't talk about politics, doctrine, morals — it wasn't the context. The oldest child is enrolled in the scout group and there were no problems," says Rubera.
"The issue of civil unions has nothing to do with us. We talked with the pope about a specific pastoral problem. And his greatness was interpreted from the perspective of the pastor who wants to take care of listening to a person's need," Rubera adds.
The Rome-based canonist, who asked not to be identified, also told Church Militant:
The words of Francis are equivocal: They can be interpreted in two ways — one orthodox, the other heterodox. The key to their presumptive correct interpretation is that of the context in which they were given by Francis: They were given by him in a telephone call placed to a sodomite cohabitating with another sodomite, who, through gravely immoral surrogacy, illicitly procreated three children by artificial insemination.
Despite the couple living in mortal sin, the parish of Trinità a Villa Chigi in Rome, following the pope's intervention under then-parish priest Fr. Lucio Boldrin, welcomed the family without questioning the homosexual lifestyle of the couple.
Church Militant obtained a copy of the April-June 2016 edition of the parish magazine, which devotes three full pages to an article written by Rubera and De Gregorio justifying their lifestyle.
Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana notes that "by resorting to a rented uterus abroad," Rubera and De Gregorio "committed what would be a crime in our country, which is the country where they live."
Italy does not recognize homosexual "marriage." In April, Church Militant reported on Italy's Supreme Court ruling against two lesbians who both wanted to be declared mothers of a child who was conceived by means of artificial insemination.
"In Toronto, we are a married couple with three children where both of us are parents. In Italy, we are Artemisia's father and Dario Iacopo and Cloe's father, who by chance live together in the same apartment," Rubera and De Gregorio explain.
Faithful Italian Catholics are distressed that Francis' intervention may result in overturning current Italian law, which protects women from being commodified as surrogate mothers.
In a televised 2017 interview, Rubera and De Gregorio — who were asked about the surrogate mother — shocked the audience by dismissing the mother as an "anthropological construct."
The Canadian woman who gave them her son feels like an accomplice, never a mother, because hers "was an act of generosity, like giving blood or something like that," they remarked.
Rubera also leads the LGBT activist organization Cammini di Speranza (Paths of Hope), which was founded in the same year he received a phone call from Pope Francis affirming his family.
The organization claims to be "Christian" but rejects all biblical and magisterial teaching on sexuality. Its charter states: "Cammini di Speranza is opposed to an exclusivist, fundamentalist and decontextualized reading of the biblical text that contrasts heterosexual union with homosexual union."
"We believe affectivity, relationships and sexuality between adults and consenting people who have as their purpose the construction of stable, faithful ties, aimed at giving oneself to the other, are an enormous gift from God, even when they involve people of the same sex," it emphasizes.
The canon law expert lamented that "Pope Francis' words are but another grievous example of him affirming two mutually contradictory statements regarding the same subject matter — statements that cannot be interpreted in an orthodox sense when one weighs the text of the words with the all-important context in which they were given."
"Canonically, not even the pope is immune from being held to account for the terrible scandal and eternal consequences deriving from his private opinion," he stated.
"The words of Pope Francis given in Francesco do not qualify canonically as 'authentic' teaching according to canon 752 CIC, and so neither bind the faithful nor are proposed to them by 'the pope.' They constitute Francis' private opinion," he stressed.
Meanwhile, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana slammed the Francesco documentary for the portrait of "a Pope Francis who validates this sin, which is to manufacture children at will by resorting to gestation for others or a rented uterus."
This, says the newspaper, is "a gigantic ethical and pedagogical problem while the [film's] spectator is treated to the idea of a pope who stoops to console a false victim of a false discrimination as Rubera and De Gregorio want to present themselves."