Nativity Scene Featuring Jesus With Two Moms Triggers Right-Wing Conservatives In Italy

Nativity Scene Featuring Jesus With Two Moms Triggers Right-Wing Conservatives In Italy
Image: Representative image. Photo: Unsplash

Right-wing Conservatives denounced as “blasphemous” a same-sex nativity scene in Italy after a priest displayed Jesus having two mothers, instead of the traditional Mary and Joseph storyline. 

Father Vitaliano Della Sala, from the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Capocastello di Mercogliano, a hamlet in the province of Avellino about one hour’s drive east of Naples, has defended its depiction of the birth of Jesus.

Father Vitaliano Della Sala asserted that the church aimed to highlight and embrace diverse family structures, telling news agency Reuters, “I wanted to show with this scene that families are no longer just the traditional ones”.

“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. 

Father Della Sala is known for his public support of the LGBTQ+ community and shared his support for Pope Francis’s recent decision allowing the Catholic Church to bless same-sex couples.

Vatican Permits Blessings For Gay Couples

Earlier this month, the Vatican announced that Roman Catholic priests would be able to bestow blessings upon same-sex couples, provided that the blessings would not be integrated into standard Church rituals or liturgies.

A directive from the Vatican’s doctrinal office, approved by Pope Francis emphasised that blessings for same-sex couples were not intended to legitimise unconventional situations but rather to symbolise that God welcomes all.

The document supported “the possibility of blessings for couples in irregular situations and for couples of the same sex” but added a caveat: “this blessing should never be imparted in concurrence with the ceremonies of a civil union, and not even in connection with them”.

Right-Wing Groups Angered 

Conservative religious groups in the country have criticised the exhibit, with the Pro-Vita & Famiglia (Pro-Life and Family) group denouncing it as “dangerous, as well as shameful and blasphemous.”

Senator Maurizio Gasparri, of the co-ruling Forza Italia party, said that the nativity scene was offensive to “all those who always had respect and devotion for the Holy Family”.

Pro-Vita have initiated an online petition calling on the bishop of Avellino to intervene in response to a controversial nativity scene. The group argued that the display contradicts the Church’s teachings on the family and legitimises same-sex parenting and surrogacy.

The petition has amassed 24 690 signatures to date. However, as the petition is accessible globally, the exact number of signatories that are from Italy are unclear. 

Earlier this year, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government announced that children of same-sex couples would no longer be registered. Following the announcement Italy began the process of erasing lesbian mums from birth records.

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