Skip to comments.Pope Benedict XVI names new head of Italian Catholic Church
Posted on 03/07/2007 7:20:08 AM PST by markomalley
Vatican City (dpa) - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday appointed a new head of the Italian Bishops' Conference as the Vatican and Romano Prodi's government engaged in raging debates over same-sex couples, artificial insemination and terminally ill patients' right to die.
In a statement, the Vatican said Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa would replace Cardinal Camillo Ruini as the conference's president.
Seventy-six-year-old Ruini had headed the conference for the past 16 years and was seen in Italy as the most influential Church figure after the pope.
A conservative, Ruini was active in the media and played a fundamental role in ensuring the failure of a 2005 referendum that sought to relax Italy's strict rules on artificial insemination.
In recent months he led the Church's opposition to government plans to grant new rights to de-facto couples, including homosexual unions.
The so-called DICO bill, currently under discussion in parliament, is strongly opposed by the Vatican and by conservative lawmakers who argue that it undermines traditional families and encourages homosexuality.
Ruini had become a favourite target not only of gay-rights activists, but also of pro-euthanasia campaigners, after criticizing a request by a terminally ill paralyzed man to die peacefully.
Bagnasco, who is 64, is seen as politically close to his predecessor. His appointment is not expected to bring about a significant shift in relations between the Church and Italy's ruling centre-left coalition.
Amazing how the media often project religion in terms of politics.
Thank you for rescuing me from the "Undead Christian Thread" which is now going into post 1300. It is refreshing to hear good solid news!
That wouldn't happen on the Discovery Channel, I bet!
Yeah, what has happened to the Discovery Channel? They did a piece on the Shroud about seven or eight years ago that was very good. Don't mean to get off subject, but weren't they bought out by Disney or something?