Updated December 24th, 2023 at 16:25 IST
Jesus with two mothers: Nativity featuring same-sex couple sparks outrage in conservative Italy
As the world gets into the Christmas spirit, a same-sex church nativity scene sparked anger among conservative Catholics across Italy.
As the world gets into the Christmas spirit, a same-sex church nativity scene sparked anger among conservative Catholics across Italy. The nativity scene garnered backlash after it featured two mothers of Baby Jesus. According to the Independent, the nativity scene was set up at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, in Capocastello di Mercogliano, which is one hour away from the east of Naples. The priest of the church attempted to defend the move after it sparked outrage among conservatives.
“I wanted to show with this scene that families are no longer just the traditional ones,” Father Vitaliano Della Sala exclaimed. “In our parishes, we see more and more children from the new types of families that exist and are part of our society, children of separated and divorced people, gay couples, single people, young mothers," he added. Meanwhile, Father Della Sala who is known in Italy to be an LGBTQ ally agreed with the Church's sentiments and insisted that it is in line with Pope Francis' approach towards same-sex relationships. He was alluding to the recent announcement by the Vatican sovereign in which he allowed priests to bless same-sex couples.
Italian politicians condemn the move
Amid the chaos, Italian Senator Maurizio Gasparri of the co-ruling Forza Italia party said that the scene offends “all those who always had respect and devotion for the Holy Family”, The Independent reported. Even the Pro-Vita & Famiglia (Pro-Life and Family) group called the scene ”dangerous, shameful and blasphemous". In light of the situation, the group has also launched an online petition and called the bishop of Avellino to intervene in the matter. The controversial petition has so far attracted over 21,000 signatories.
It is important to note that having children through surrogacy is illegal in Italy, and the country's parliament is discussing a government-sponsored law that would criminalise couples who plan to do so by going abroad. Earlier this month, a senator from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party proposed another bill that would prevent school directors from halting Catholic-themed activities such as Christmas plays or the making of nativity scenes.
Published December 24th, 2023 at 16:25 IST