Author Topic: Pope enters Italy fertility fray  (Read 70 times)


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Pope enters Italy fertility fray
« on: May 30, 2005, 07:59:15 AM »
Pope enters Italy fertility fray

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI stepped into an Italian referendum battle Monday, endorsing efforts by the country's Roman Catholic bishops to restrict assisted fertility treatments.

The German-born pope contended that a referendum next month to scrap parts of a law that regulates assisted fertility treatments posed threats to life and the family.

The pope spoke to the Italian bishops conference, which has called on Italians to boycott the referendum, scheduled for June 12-13.

While it was his first foray into an Italian issue, the pope's support was not unexpected. Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the head of the Italian bishops conference, is the pope's vicar for Rome.

The current law forbids sperm and egg donation, limits the number of embryos created with in vitro techniques to three and bans all embryo research.

The referendums would abrogate the law's provisions on embryo research, the three-embryo limit, the ban on egg or sperm donation from outside the couple and the attribution of rights to the unborn.

Opponents complain the law restricts scientific research and a woman's reproductive rights.

The pope did not mention any details of the law, but he noted that the bishops were "committed to illuminating the choices of Catholics and all citizens" in the upcoming referendum. He emphasized the importance of defending the family and human life.

The bishops are pressing Italians not to vote in the hope that a low turnout will doom the proposed changes to the law. At least 50 percent plus one of eligible voters must cast ballots to make a referendum valid.

Benedict stressed that the family was "fundamental" to Italian society. But he said that even in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country, the family has not been immune to secular trends.

"Even in Italy the family is exposed to the current cultural climate, therefore to risks and threats that we all know," he said.

He cited the "tendency of the culture to challenge the unique character and the mission of the family based on a man and a woman" -- a reference to acceptance in some countries to same-sex marriage.


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Re: Pope enters Italy fertility fray
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2005, 11:32:19 PM »
it's funny how you all say how great the pope is for everything he's done, but when he does something that's just not right (trying to get involved in italian politics), none of you reply ::)