Monday, April 30, 2007

Italian Prelate Says He Won't Be Intimidated

GENOA, Italy, APRIL 30, 2007 ( Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa said he won't be intimidated after receiving another death threat, seemingly in response to his defense of the family founded on marriage.
The president of the Italian bishops' conference found an envelope in his residence on Friday, containing a bullet and a photo of himself with a swastika drawn on it, the Genoan daily newspaper Il Corriere Mercantile reported.
Armed bodyguards have accompanied the 64-year-old archbishop since the beginning of April, when threatening graffiti were found on the cathedral door and along the streets of Genoa.

The threats came following Archbishop Bagnasco's public declarations in defense of the traditional family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, specifically the Italian bishops' "Note Regarding the Family Founded on Marriage and Legislative Initiatives Concerning Civil Unions."

In the note, the prelates reminded Catholic politicians and lawmakers of their duty not to vote for legislation in favor of civil unions or laws that would favor the legal recognition of homosexual couples.

Stronger and clearer
Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome, and the previous president of the Italian episcopal conference, asserted that the Catholic Church in Italy will not be intimidated.

His words were published today in the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

"Faced with these attempts at intimidation, we want everyone to know that we will speak, if necessary, in a stronger and clearer way," said the cardinal.
Archbishop Bagnasco has spoken several times about the implicit dangers in legislation adopted by the Italian government Feb. 8, which points to offering legal recognition of de facto unions between homosexual or heterosexual couples.

On March 26, at the beginning of the Italian bishops' permanent council meeting, Archbishop Bagnasco stressed that the prelates are firm in their decision to defend "the utter uniqueness of the family in order to help the family, educate it and value it for the good -- present and future -- of humanity."

He added that they will fight "so that families will not give in under the pressures of those lobbies that are able to negatively influence the legislative process."

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