Italian gay demonstration rips Catholic Church leaders
CW News reported that:
Rome, Mar. 12, 2007 - Homosexual demonstrators railed against the influence of the Catholic Church during a demonstration in downtown Rome on March 10.
Organizers claimed that 50,000 people had joined in the Saturday-afternoon rally at the Piazza Farnese, although officials say that the square can only accommodate about 10,000 people. The demonstration was called in support of a bid for legal recognition of civil unions, and held in front of the French embassy in recognition of a French policy that is the model for the Italian proposal.
However, the gathering took on a distinctly anti-Catholic tone, as participants protested the opposition raised against the civil-union proposal by Church leaders. Dario Fo, a Nobel Prize winner in literature and harsh critic of the papacy, was a leader of the demonstration. The noisiest applause of the day came with the arrival of of Father Francesco Barbero, who in 2003 was suspended by Pope John Paul II (bio - news).
Some participants in the rally wore episcopal miters or clerical vestments; others passed out stickers identifying the Pope as “Maledictus XVI.” One sign visible in the crowd was a portrait of the Holy Father, doctored so that he appeared to be making an obscene gesture, with the slogan: “Human Rights? The Church speaks clearly!”
Other rally participants mocked lawmakers who have stated their opposition to civil unions. A poster showed an apparently pregnant man, and the words, “I tell you, the father is Mastella”-- a reference to justice minister Clemente Mastella. Another said, “More rights, less Binetti”-- reference to Senator Paola Binetti, who is a member of Opus Dei. Several demonstrators carried placards saying, “Better gay than Opus Dei.”
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