Italian Catholic Church doesn’t interfere with domestic affair, bishops say

Italian bishops on Tuesday rejected accusations that the Roman Catholic Church interferes with the country's domestic affairs, insisting the church should have its say on moral issues. The long-standing accusations have been renewed recently as the head of Italian bishops, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, said he opposed giving full legal rights to unmarried couples. The comments drew criticism, and on Friday the cardinal was booed by a small group of students as he received an award in the Tuscan city of Siena.

Betori added the church "will never give up ... its duty to speak in a clear and strong way in order to enlighten the believers and all men of good faith both on matters of faith and ecclesial life and on issues of great moral relevance, such as human life, family, justice and solidarity."

Ruini said in his speech last week that giving full legal recognition to de-facto couples would represent an "eclipsing of the nature and value of a family and a very grave harm to the Italian people." He also suggested that common-law norms might be applied to offer some protection in certain cases, according to the AP.

In April, the Italian church organized a successful campaign to boycott a referendum intended to easing assisted fertility restrictions. АМ

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