TUESDAY
May 30, 2000
volume 11, no. 100









NEWS for Tuesday, May 30, 2000
ITALIAN BISHOPS STEP UP PRESSURE AGAINST ROME GAY FESTIVAL

ROME (CWNews.com)
    The Italian bishops' conference increased pressure on government leaders on Friday, insisting that a gay pride festival planned for Rome in June and July should not be given official support.

    Church leaders, Catholic intellectuals, and political groups have all come together in the opposition to the World Gay Pride 2000 event set in the midst of the Jubilee Year, although the ruling center-left coalition government has given muddled indications of its support or lack thereof for the event.

    Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian Conference of Bishops, said the Church was not opposed to the country's constitutional right to hold demonstrations. "What it is asking is that this demonstration should not go ahead in Rome during the Jubilee Year," Cardinal Ruini said after the conferences' annual meeting. "I don't think it is a coincidence that they chose Rome and that they chose this particular year."

    Similar gay pride events in other cities have included open blasphemy and demeaning of the Catholic Church, and Church officials fear that by having the event in the center of Catholicism in the world during the Jubilee Year could incite even worse displays.

    Prime Minister Guiliano Amato this week said "unfortunately" the right to protest was written into the country's 1948 constitution and therefore the government had no choice but to allow the event go ahead. Members of the ruling coalition were outraged at Amato's use of the word "unfortunately."

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