“No confusion”

Vatican © dpa

Pope Francis has caused a stir in Italy with his latest appeal for the classical family. He explained that "there can be no confusion between the family intended by God and any other type of union".

Against the backdrop of the current debate on the introduction of registered partnerships for homosexuals, all major newspapers carried the Pope's words as a lead story on Saturday.

Conscious contribution?

Francis had made his comments Friday in his annual address to the judges of the Roman Rota. Commentators saw this as a deliberate contribution by the pope to the current discussion in the Italian parliament about a corresponding bill.

Senator Monica Cirinna, who drafted the bill, told the newspaper La Stampa: "The pope is doing his job, so is parliament."It is not the time for a culture war between Catholics and secularists. The pope will be heard but not commented on. Homosexual partnerships are part of reality in Italian society and need legal regulation, he said. However, supporters sought a calm dialogue with opponents of the bill. Cirinna belongs to the Democratic Party (PD) of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Orientation to the German legal situation

The latter told the press that the legislative process was "irreversible". The controversial bill is based on the German model of registered civil partnerships, in which gays and lesbians largely share the rights and responsibilities of married couples. The law also provides for the possibility of adopting a partner's biological children. This point in particular has fueled the political debate in Italy. Critics fear, among other things, a creeping increase in surrogacy. Opposition to the bill in its current form cuts across all parties. Hundreds of amendments to the bill have been received ahead of Thursday's Senate debate. The House is scheduled to vote on the proposed law in February.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of gays, lesbians and sympathizers demonstrated in about 100 Italian cities for the introduction of registered civil partnerships and adoption rights. Next weekend, family organizations and Christian groups want to protest against this with a "Family Day" in Rome. Tens of thousands of participants are also expected.

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