VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has protested to Italy against a bill to fight homophobia, saying that in its current form it could restrict the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in Italy.
The protest, which was first reported by Corriere della Sera on Tuesday and confirmed by a Vatican official, was handed over on June 17 by the Vatican Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Italian Embassy near Holy Seat.
The protest is about the so-called “Zan Bill”, named after Alessandro Zan, a gay lawmaker from the center-left Democratic Party. It was adopted by the lower house of parliament and is currently being discussed in committee in the Senate.
The Vatican believes that the law as it is currently drafted violates the Lateran Pacts of 1929, which established Vatican City as a sovereign state and regulates relations between it and Italy.
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The Vatican fears that the law as drafted could lead to the criminalization of the Church in Italy for refusing to perform same-sex marriages, for opposing adoption by same-sex couples through Catholic institutions, or for refusing to teach gender theory in Catholic schools, according to a Vatican source. .
While the Vatican has often condemned discrimination and violence against homosexuals, it has also expressed concern over any kind of gender theory that blurs or eliminates differences between men and women.
In April, Catholic bishops in Italy criticized the bill, saying that “a law that seeks to combat discrimination cannot pursue this goal through intolerance and questioning the reality of the difference between men and women”.
The bishops said the law did not significantly address “family uniqueness” headed by a heterosexual couple.
Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League, applauded the Vatican’s decision.
“We say ‘yes’ to loving whoever you want and ‘yes’ to the fight against discrimination, and ‘yes’ to punishing all forms of violence,” he said.
“But we are against any censorship or lawsuits for those who believe that mother, father and family are at the heart of our society,” he said.