Cardinal De Paolis: Italian Same-Sex Legislation Violates Italy’s Constitution

With attacks on marriage and the family continuing apace the world over, and nowhere more vigorously than in western nations, it is mostly the Catholic laity who are rallying in protest and raising the loudest voices against the manipulations of the secularists, feminists, pro-abortion groups and ‘gay lobby’ to force-feed their evil laws upon us. A few brave leaders and members of the hierarchy have been standing out in strong opposition to these perversions being written into our constitutions, unafraid of the secular world’s fierce criticism being heaped upon them in retaliation. From Italy, Cardinal De Paolis is the latest to voice his unstinted support for Christian marriage and family values.    

Speaking last weekend as hundreds of thousands of pro-family Italians rallied in Rome against the proposed bill, he said it also contradicts Church teaching, natural law and common sense.

BY EDWARD PENTIN (National Catholic Register’s Rome correspondent) 

Supporters of marriage through the Circus Maximus in Rome at the Family Day celebration and rally. – Edward Pentin photo

Supporters of marriage through the Circus Maximus in Rome at the Family Day celebration and rally.
– Edward Pentin photo

ROME — An Italian cardinal has said that proposed legislation to allow same-sex unions and adoption by same-sex couples in Italy is “fundamentally against the Italian constitution” as well as Catholic doctrine, “the natural moral law” and “common sense.”

“We believe that marriage is a natural reality, and one cannot alter that through the law,” Cardinal Velasio Di Paolis told the Register Jan. 30.

“It’s a point of civil legislation, and we must respect the civil order; but we are also citizens who have a responsibility to the country and to doctrine, and we have the right and obligation to support the faithful,” he said.

The cardinal was speaking on the same day that hundreds of thousands of people from all over Italy descended on Rome’s Circus Maximus to defend marriage in the face of the legislation.

The event organizer, Massimo Gandolfini, said the numbers of those attending were “many, many more than we thought” and estimated the crowd size to be 2 million. (The more likely figure, based on the size of Circus Maximus and crowd-density calculations, was 200,000-300,000, but the number nevertheless filled the historic venue almost to capacity.)

If passed, the so-called Cirinnà bill would grant same-sex couples — as well as non-married couples of the opposite sex — the same legal rights as married couples of the opposite sex. Among the legal allowances would be the adoption of a child by the same-sex partner of his or her parent.

Italy is the only major Western European country to offer no legal rights to same-sex couples. Gandolfini, a member of the Neocatechumenal Way and a married father of seven adopted children, said protesters didn’t want amendments but the entire rejection of the bill. “Without limits, our society will go mad!” he told the rally. “We are here for the family; we’re not against anyone,” he added.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has pushed for such legislation since his election in 2014, has said a total rejection of the bill would be “unacceptable” because Europe has repeatedly criticized Italy for not allowing rights for same-sex couples. Last July, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy violates the European Convention on Human Rights by not recognizing same-sex couples’ right to family life.

Cardinals’ Comments
Saturday’s event comes nearly a decade after the 2007 Family Day helped scupper a previous civil-union bill under Romano Prodi’s government. At that time, the Italian bishops took a leading role in opposing the legislation under the leadership of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, former president of the Italian bishops’ conference.

This time around, the cardinal warned members of parliament they “would do well to listen” to the protesters at Family Day.
Asked why he opposed the bill even though proponents claim it won’t affect Italy’s ban on “womb rental” for surrogacy, Cardinal Ruini said he believes the stepchild-adoption provision would open the door to such a practice. “How else can two men have a child?” he said.

Cardinal De Paolis, president emeritus of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, said that, despite the resistance, the bill will probably pass.
“Unfortunately, I have little optimism, because the overall mentality of the majority is in favor,” he said.

But some saw Saturday’s rally as a hopeful sign — the beginning of a possible backlash against a culture that views same-sex relations as licit.

“This event is a very positive development, because, three years ago, most Italian people were unaware of what was going on,” said Riccardo Cascioli, editor of the Italian daily newspaper La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. “Now you can see more and more, also compared to a demonstration in June, that there’s a much greater desire to participate and to say, ‘No’ to all the bad consequences of this law.”

Citizens Mobilize
The “continuing momentum” to oppose it, Cascioli told the Register, contrasts with recent protests by those in support of the legislation. Despite having the media and powerful lobby groups on their side, “they couldn’t gather very many,” he noted.

Professor Roberto De Mattei of the pro-life group Famiglia Domani said public displays of resistance have been forming since Italy’s March for Life, now in its fifth year, which “gave an impulse to manifestations like this.”

Whereas the 2007 protests were spearheaded by the Italian bishops and backed by then-opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi, he noted how, “in this case, the decision has been promoted from the bottom up, not the top down.” The bishops’ conference, he said, has been obliged to follow the general mobilization by laypeople. “This is very interesting: The bishops were pushed to protest.”

It is no secret that the Italian episcopate was divided over how or whether to support Family Day. Bishop Nunzio Galantino, secretary general of the Italian bishops’ conference, appointed by Pope Francis, wanted a non-confrontational approach, as opposed to that of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops, who wanted to repeat the example of Cardinal Ruini and Benedict XVI in 2007.

Bishop Galantino is hoping for a “pacific agreement on this, if possible,” said De Mattei, but he added that, in his opinion, such an approach is “not possible” because of widely differing “conceptions of life” between those campaigning for a change in the law and those who are opposed to it from the point of view of the natural moral law.

Broad-Based Movement
The lack of participation by the Italian bishops, the reluctance of Vatican institutions to give the rally much attention (L’Osservatore Romano gave it a cursory mention on the inside pages of its Saturday edition), and the seeming reticence of Pope Francis to speak out in support of the event, caused considerable concern in the run-up to the event, as it came to be seen by some, as a “No” to Catholics to mobilize against the legislation.

Throughout his papacy, the Holy Father has defended marriage and has criticized same-sex unions. Although he most recently spoke out strongly in favor of marriage in a speech to the Roman Rota on Jan. 22, saying there can be “no confusion between the family willed by God and every other type of union,” he said no more on the issue.

But this papal approach was in many ways in line with that of the rally organizers. They asked that the meeting not be associated with any “movement, association, group, party, committee or any other religious leader” because they didn’t want it to have any “sectarian connotation” or be seen as only a Catholic gathering.

Even Kiko Argüello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, which transported many families to the event, was told not to speak just days before the event, according to a letter obtained by Vaticanist Sandro Magister. Argüello did eventually address the rally, but in a personal capacity.

Participants’ Perspectives
Despite the absence of senior Church figures (only one bishop reportedly attended) and public papal support for the event, some saw it as an important strategy. “Such an approach showed it’s not about religion, but about human nature,” said Augusto Silberstein, a Brazilian student at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, who attended the event. “That’s the power of it. If it were tied to the Catholic hierarchy, some Catholic movement, religious group, or any group, it would have put limits on it.”

He said he thought it was “very, very well thought out” to show that it was open to everyone. “You had people from the political left and people from the right. It also showed this was a movement of laypeople,” he noted.

On the Pope’s silence, he said it was important not to give the idea to adversaries that the event was “being steered by the Pope, which it wasn’t,” because it allowed politicians to see what the people really think.

What is crucial now, he believes, is to “go much deeper” and try not just to change the law, but also to “change culture.” The rally was very important to show “that people who think this way are not alone,” he said, but added that changing the culture cannot be done with one or two events and needs a “series of initiatives.”

“That’s where the laymen have to mobilize and be creative” and show that the way of living they are fighting for is “much better than the alternative,” he said.

Dominican Father Ezra Sullivan, an American studying at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, also attended the rally. He told the Register he is hopeful that it will mark a start in changing people’s opinions and believes it will unite them in creating “good political consequences.”

“As Rome is still the capital of the world, I believe Americans can take their cue from Romans who fight for the truth,” he said.

Cause for Political Reflection
Although pessimistic about the outcome of this legislation, Cardinal De Paolis also believes the rally forced politicians to “take into account the will of the electorate.”

The Cirinnà bill was passed in the lower house of the Italian parliament last week. The Senate will begin debating it tomorrow [i.e. today]. A final vote on the text, with additional amendments, is expected on Feb. 11.

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18 Responses to Cardinal De Paolis: Italian Same-Sex Legislation Violates Italy’s Constitution

  1. A friend commented sarcastically in an e-mail:

    “Renzi said that ‘a total rejection of the bill would be “unacceptable” because Europe has repeatedly criticized Italy for not allowing rights for same-sex couples’?

    “Oh well then, if Europe has criticized Italy, by all means, pass the bill that would allow same-sex marriage.

    “We can’t be out of step with secular society can we? If Pope Francis has taught us anything at all, it is that the Church must conform to the world, not the other way around. Obviously the Church was wrong for two thousand years in trying to shape the world into an entity based on God’s will.

    “We can all thank Pope Francis for showing us that it’s the world that matters, not Church teaching.”


  2. Michael says:

    This blog-post might ring a few bells for people who have ever had to engage in debate with people about same-sex unions (plus the related adoption issue and all manner of other things in this area, which will usually involve reference to natural law, and thus inevitably also involve a defence of theism and probably Catholicism as well), insofar as the response encountered will be based around the following points:

    1. I will tell you what your position is. If you dispute it, you are ignorant, lying or both;
    2. I completely understand your position so that I don’t need to incorporate anything you say into my understanding;
    3. If any bad people, as I understand bad, have ever supported your position, that’s conclusive proof you’re wrong. You pointing out bad things done by people who hold my positions just shows how stupid you are;
    4. Factual items that support your position are invalid, and I don’t have to tell you why;
    5. You have to defend every single act or word ever performed or uttered by anyone that I say shares your position, while my position is gloriously beyond such petty concerns, and represents a final state of enlightenment;
    6. Source materials say what I say they say.

    Harsh? Maybe – but true. I could point to numerous examples. For example, no matter what you say about why you oppose abortion, no mater how many hours and resources you expend to take care of women in challenging pregnancies, no matter your ongoing friendship and care for those women and their children, you are TOLD that you oppose abortion because you hate women and want to keep them down. Right? That’s points 1 and 2 both. Or if you point out that the communists history has actually given us, as opposed to armchair communists who rail against Capitalism on their iPads over lattes, have been power-hungry sociopathic mass murderers, this point is immediately dismissed as irrelevant, as some sort of accident…

    Do read the rest – it’s very good, and (unfortunately) all too familiar!


  3. Michael says:

    And also, from Blessed John Henry Newman:

    In every age of Christianity, since it was first preached, there has been what may be called a religion of the world, which so far imitates the one true religion, as to deceive the unstable and unwary. The world does not oppose religion as such. I may say, it never has opposed it. In particular, it has, in all ages, acknowledged in one sense or other the Gospel of Christ, fastened on one or other of its characteristics, and professed to embody this in its practice; while by neglecting the other parts of the holy doctrine, it has, in fact, distorted and corrupted even that portion of it which it has exclusively put forward, and so has contrived to explain away the whole;—for he who cultivates only one precept of the Gospel to the exclusion of the rest, in reality attends to no part at all. Our duties balance each other; and though we are too sinful to perform them all perfectly, yet we may in some measure be performing them all, and preserving the balance on the {310} whole; whereas, to give ourselves only to this or that commandment, is to incline our minds in a wrong direction, and at length to pull them down to the earth, which is the aim of our adversary, the Devil…

    …What is the world’s religion now? It has taken the brighter side of the Gospel,—its tidings of comfort, its precepts of love; all darker, deeper views of man’s condition and prospects being comparatively forgotten. This is the religion natural to a civilised age, and well has Satan dressed and completed it into an idol of the Truth.


  4. kathleen says:


    Please forgive me for taking so long to respond to your two great comments and the links that you gave yesterday. The one from “yardsaleofthemind” made me laugh – it was so incredibly accurate in everything he says – where he presents a situation we are all growing increasingly familiar with these days unfortunately. Anyway, at least we know we (traditional Catholics) are all in the same boat with these frustrating adversaries we have to deal with daily. 😉

    The excerpt from the excellent Newman lecture was another insightful description of our times, where liberals abound in the Church as never before. Amazing to think it was written by this saintly genius of a Cardinal in the 19th century!


  5. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 23:34, February 5th:

    Apologies in turn for taking so long to reply to your reply! I’ve been all over the shop recently, and haven’t had much time to sit down and respond to anything properly. Anyway, am glad you liked the links – the description at yardsaleofthemind really does hit the nail on the head, and (unfortunately) describes a great many such ‘discussions’ I’ve had in real life!

    The reflection from Cardinal Newman is very relevant to our times, as I find a lot of his writings to be. I suppose this is due in part to the fact that, despite the Victorian Era being well known for its religious revivals, that these revivals came about in opposition to a growing decadence in that very same age – obviously they didn’t have to contend with the wholesale discarding of truth that we experience now, but what we see now was certainly continuous with a growing spirit of scepticism and hedonism back then.

    On top of this of course, there is the fact that, regardless of our changing material circumstances, the human heart never changes, and self-deception (particularly with respect to eternal questions) is a problem that bears the same essential characteristics as it ever did. On that note, I think I might put Ecclesiastes down on my Lenten reading list! 🙂


  6. toadspittle says:

    The essential trouble with self-deception is that it has to be pointed out by someone else.

    “..regardless of our changing material circumstances, the human heart never changes…”
    Very difficult to say that with any confidence. How can we know the heart of, say, a caveman of 40,000 years ago?
    And it also implies that a “change of heart” is not possible. It all depends on what we mean here by “heart,” of course. Even Isis murderers have one each.


  7. kathleen says:

    Thanks, Michael (@ 10:57)… always good to hear your perceptive bits and pieces in your commentary here! 🙂

    @ Toad (quoting Michael)

    “..regardless of our changing material circumstances, the human heart never changes…”

    IOW, once Man gained the knowledge of Good and Evil after the Fall, he has always known ever since in his innermost heart (i.e. his conscience) whether what he is doing is right or wrong.

    Yes, Toad, all of us descendants of Adam and Eve have Free Will (unlike the animals) and will therefore be judged before God on the last day according to the way we have chosen to live our lives.
    Everything will depend on the final state of our souls at death, for sinners that we are, whilst we are still on our pilgrim journey on Earth, there is always time for repentance and a firm purpose of amendment.
    But let us not forget: “Watch ye therefore, because ye know not what hour your Lord will come” – (Matthew 24:42).

    Remember, we have been given many more ‘talents’ than the caveman – and thus far more will be expected from us!! 😉


  8. Robert says:

    Why argue? They know what they are asking and intending is contrary to God’s Laws Instead their intent is that of the Dictator and Bully legalising what they know is Sin.
    Naturalism? materialism? modernism? What are its fruits?

    What is Man? Body; Spirit; Soul created in the Image and likeness of God.
    Aquinas pointed out that the Ancients thinkers knew that Man survived physical death. The Ancients commonly believed in God(s) and the Natural Law. Natural Law (Dawkins calls it the religious gene). In other words the legislator’s here know what they are proposing is contrary to God (that they know exists).

    Our Lord Answers these delude fools.
    Mark 12 15:17
    [15] Who knowing their wiliness, saith to them: Why tempt you me? bring me a penny that I may see it.
    [16] And they brought it him. And he saith to them: Whose is this image and inscription? They say to him, Caesar’ s.
    [17] And Jesus answering, said to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’ s, and to God the things that are God’ s. And they marvelled at him.

    Man Created in the image of God! Man is God’s and God’s Laws apply to Man and to Creation.
    The Coin is the States : The Italian State Man’s Constitution (or here the pagan Goddess Europa)

    Genesis 13
    [13] And the men of Sodom were very wicked, and sinners before the face of the Lord, beyond measure.

    My prayers for their Conversion and their change of heart. The wages of Sin are Death sadly as discovered by Babel and Sodom. They have the sign of Jonas and if this is ignored must accept the consequences.

    It is enough to tell them quietly with Love and compassion. But we cannot join them in Sin.


  9. toadspittle says:

    “Remember, we have been given many more ‘talents’ than the caveman.”
    We have absolutely no way of knowing that. Evidence, though suggests you are wrong.

    Have you the “talent” to do things like this, Kathleen? I haven’t.

    (Kathleen: ” OF COURSE I meant talents as in the sense of how much knowledge one has had the grace to receive about the true Nature of God, i.e., the ‘Parable of the Talents’- Matthew 25:14-30. Really, Toad, your understanding of the Catholic Faith appears to worsen by the day!) 🙄


  10. Michael says:

    Kathleen @ 12:44:

    Thank you, and thanks particularly for the clarification regarding what I had recklessly considered to be a fairly straightforward, non-controversial statement 🙂


  11. toadspittle says:

    Really, Toad, your understanding of the Catholic Faith appears to worsen by the day!) :roll:”
    Thanks, Kathleen. That’s heartenng news.


  12. Robert says:

    What reveals Our Hearts is what comes out of Our mouths(writing).
    The Apostles fired up by the Holy Ghost through Christ battled against and within the Pluralist/Pagan Empire of Rome and Converted it to Christ!
    Lenin and Hitler (both were under written and funded by the West, and this is well documented) Both idolised and built up and then later demonised. The classic demonic pattern and repeated again and again. Who empowered Lenin (gnomes of Zurich, Wall Street) and Hitler (Prescott Bush) . In Our Days the same pattern is repeated with idols of doubtful or no morals.
    The Sacraments are spiritual using water, bread etc.. it is the Faith that feeds and opens your spiritual eyes to look at Reality.
    What you find very sadly is a materialist nay Naturalist (actually Atheist) so called Reality and actually Masonic. This spirit is well evidenced in Rome with PR stunts such as bowing to Mecca or receiving the mark of a pagan God. As I point out the Spirit of Assissi 1986 haunts the Curia.
    The Battle is always against Satanic Powers etc..
    Nothing is achieved by Yes Men who prattle on about material so called Reality and leave the dopopr wide open to Demons (who are spirits!)


  13. toadspittle says:

    “(Kathleen: ” OF COURSE I meant talents as in the sense of how much knowledge one has had the grace to receive about the true Nature of God,”
    Yes, that’s how you used the word, “talents,” Kathleen. Most people would regard it as meaning “abilities.”
    But then, “words mean what we choose them to mean,”etc. (H.Dumpty.)

    “Lenin and Hitler (both were under written and funded by the West, and this is well documented)”
    Well, who doubts it – and else would bother funding them, Robert? China? Saudi Arabia? Nope.

    “What reveals Our Hearts is what comes out of Our mouths(writing).”
    True, Rebort. Unless, of course, we are lying. Which Toad never does. Except, naturally, when it suits him to do so. Same as anyone else.


  14. Robert says:

    Toad since Man ever and each Man is created in the image and likeness of God it follows that they have a commonality of human heart! Kathleen is correct.
    Kathleen is also correct with post AD and BC Man since Our Lords Birth Life Passion Death AND RESURRECTION means that Creation visible and invisible has irrevocable changed.
    Post AD we through the sacraments and Christ have the certainty of Heaven if we correspond to Grace..BC it was impossible to enter Heaven.
    What we are seeing is Man rejecting the Law of God to take up other or many doctrines. But none of these was or is of God, and Peace and Charity is not in them. It is impossible to go back to Creation BC all that will happen is the Universal Law which says in Justice the more you have been given the more will be required from you!
    This Masonic Curia is simply calling Gods Justice down on this world. They have NOT recognised Jonas sign!


  15. toadspittle says:

    …BC it was impossible to enter Heaven.”
    Yes, Dante had a problem with that. Didn’t really solve it.

    “What we are seeing is Man rejecting the Law of God to take up other or many doctrines.”
    What we are seeing, is some men honestly interpreting the Law of God in a different fashion to you, Robert.
    Incredible, I agree – but there we are.


  16. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 15:54 yesterday (re ´talents´)

    Most people would regard it as meaning “abilities”

    No they wouldn´t – not if the word came in inverted commas and in the sense I was using it! Only toads would make that mistake.

    Hope you learned a thing or two from the Parable perhaps?


  17. toadspittle says:

    “Toad since Man ever and each Man is created in the image and likeness of God it follows that they have a commonality of human heart!”
    I doubt if you share a “commonality of human heart” with Isis fanatics, Robert.
    I sure don’t.
    I’m also sceptical that man is made n the image and likeness of God, because man is the ugliest animal on the planet – by the length of Brixton High street. (Yes, including me.)
    I think it yet another example of stupendous religious arrogance. Might be wrong, of course.


  18. Robert says:

    “..When I created your souls, I took you from Myself; from the Core of My very Heart, that you would be My Heart upon this world..”


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