Pro-Life Traditional Catholic to Head Italy’s Ministry of Families

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by Juliana Freitag  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 4, 2018   

Backlash from Italian Left

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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - A staunch pro-life advocate will soon chair Italy's Ministry of Family and Disabilities.
 
Nearly three months after Italy’s much-disputed general elections, the winning coalition has finally made a deal to establish a new government. The good news for Catholics was the nomination of Lorenzo Fontana from Lega ("League") for the newly founded ministry.
 
Corriere della Sera reported Fontana as "the minister who combats the nihilist deviation of society." Fontana defines himself as "Veronese and Catholic" and this is how his website describes his priorities: "Besides foreign policy, I take an interest in the protection of Christian minorities in the world, in policies for family support and the increase in the birth rate of our country."
 
His concern with demographics has been a longstanding priority. Last February, he released La Culla vuota della Civiltà - All'origine della crisi ("The Empty Cradle of Civilization"), a book he wrote with Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, ex-president of the Vatican Bank and one of the original signatories of the Correctio Filialis. In Fontana's first interview to Corriere della Sera after being sworn in, he reiterated that the Italian birth rate is his main concern. 
 
Il Fatto Quotidiano also focused on his leading interest: "Even economically, this is unsustainable. People say that this aging Europe needs migrants. I think that we need to start having children again."
 
Fontana, who got married in the Tridentine Rite and has a 2-year-old daughter, regularly attends important pro-life events in Italy, and another priority of his tenure is to decrease the number of abortions in the country. Supporting pro-life organization ProVita OnlusFontana recently affirmed that "abortions are the first cause of femicide in the world."
 
Regarding his pro-life plan for the Ministry, he said: "To restrict access to abortion isn't in the new government contract. ... [T]his isn't a priority in the perception of the majority. Unfortunately. But I want ... to strengthen family clinics in order to dissuade women from aborting. I am a Catholic, and I don't hide it."
 
Fontana has also pleaded in the Chamber of Deputies for a rapid Italian intervention in the Alfie Evans case. When Alfie was allowed to die, Fontana stated, "Today is a day of mourning for Europe. ... I hope Alfie can forgive us for not doing enough. Alfie's parents' courage will always be a source of hope in a world that has lost its compass."
 
Italian liberals took to Twitter to defame Fontana, but the libel didn't stop on social media. Italian Newspaper Il Post accused Fontana of having ties with fascists and of being "against women's rights." Laura Boldrini, one of the most unpopular politicians in Italy for her pushy view of unrestricted immigration, proclaimed that Fontana wants to make Italy "retrograde and obscurantist."
 
People say that this aging Europe needs migrants. I think that we need to start having children again.
Liberal newspaper La Repubblica took it up a notch. They plainly called the new minister an "ultra-catholic neo-fascist," trying to make ridiculous associations with Nazism. The journalist behind the dishonest piece was disciplined in 2016 by the Order of Journalists of Lombardy for publishing a false story about a 4-year-old boy who had made a Nazi salute in a school. Commenting on the tone of La Repubblica's article, Fontana was clear: "This is a manipulated controversy. ... [E]vidently some people are annoyed because I am a Catholic. Fortunately, we are in Italy, not in Saudi Arabia."
 
The strongest reaction came because of a quote where Lorenzo explained that "LGBT families, right now, don't exist for the law." Italy recently legalized same-sex civil unions but they are not equivalent to marriage and homosexuals cannot adopt.
 
Former senator Monica Cirinnà (sponsor of the gay union law) weighed in by saying, "Families do exist and they are plural. As a minister of the Italian Republic ... it's his obligation to be responsible for gay families as well." Because of the recent wave of leftist bureaucrats who insist on illegally registering children of gay couples, Monica Cirinnà demands the acceptance of the narrative that gay families exist constitutionally.
 
She uses an excerpt from the text of her law that stated that "the parts must be in mutual accord of the address of their family life" to trick the public into accepting LGBT social arrangements as families. A reader corrected Cirinnà through Marco Tosatti's blog:
As a matter of fact, that LGBT families don't exist as "family" is something your own law says, as it specifies on Article 1 [of the Italian Constitution] that "civil unions are specific social formations in the senses of Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution." ... The only family is that established by Article 29 as "the natural society founded on marriage." ... It could be possible to modify Article 29 of the Constitution to introduce "same-sex marriage" in Italy. But the best constitutionalists maintain that the first part of the Constitution mustn't be modified as it forms a balanced 'corpus' of rights and duties.
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