Catholic Church says civil unions in Italy is ‘creeping fascism’

The Catholic Church is furious with Italy’s government after same-sex civil unions finally passed in the country.

Yesterday, Italy’s Parliament finally passed a bill creating same-sex civil unions, in the face of strong opposition from the powerful Catholic church and rebellions from Catholic lawmakers.

The law – which came about after the European Court of Human Rights upheld complaints of discrimination over the country’s lack of recognition for same-sex couples – was passed by votes of 369-193 and 372-51 – as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called a confidence vote in himself to force the issue through.

Italy was the last country in Western Europe with no recognition for same-sex partnerships. The change only passed after Renzi made concessions, ditching proposals for same-sex adoption rights that were opposed by the church. The unions are also strictly civil – and same-sex religious unions remain banned, even for pro-LGBT denominations.

However, despite the government going out of its way to appease the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church in Italy has attacked the decision.

Speaking to La Repubblica, Archbishop Michele Pennisi attacked the bill and the way it was passed.

The Catholic leader said: “There is a big slice of the country that this law does not want it. I believe this way of doing is creeping fascism.”

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Chieti-Vasto Bruno Forte, who headed the church’s ‘Synod on the Family’ rejecting LGBT rights, told a local newspaper: “It is certainly a defeat and also an impoverishment of democratic life on a question that can have an enormous impact on the future of society.”

He added that all families need “the fundamental reciprocity between man and woman” at their core.

Forte said: “On the Church’s part, there will always remain the proclaiming of the Gospel of the family as a fundamental institute of human, social and Christian life.”

The Pope himself has not directly addressed the issue happening directly outside his gates – with the Vatican news office prioritising a story about the Pontiff’s table tennis equipment.

Pope Francis recently claimed that teaching kids about safe sex is “promoting narcissism” – and that transgender teens should be taught to “accept their own body as it was created”.