ITALIA: MGR. BETORI (CEI), "NO INITIATIVE" FOR A REFERENDUM ON PACS

” “During the Permanent Council of the Italian Bishops Conference, "there was no mention" of a referendum on "PACS" (special agreements granting to unmarried couples the same rights and status as married couples). As he answered to the press, during the press conference that was held today at the premises of the Vatican Radio Station, mgr. Giuseppe Betori, secretary general of the Italian Bishops Conference, specified that "for the moment we have no such initiative; first we have to see the wording of the law. We do not know what the position of the Catholic world is in this respect". As to a possible "barrier-like" action from the Italian Church against an act that does not "fulfil" the bishops’ requirements on de facto marriages, Betori stated that such action "can be carried out in many different ways". "We have to see what will be passed", he insisted. "We will certainly not stand on the sidelines", he added. As to some rumoured "contacts" with some government, political or institutional leaders, Betori said: "There are no specific contacts. There are the normal talks the Church has always had with people in charge of public life, but this is not an initiative of the Italian Church with the parties or the government". Among the bishops, instead, confirmed Betori, "shades are not missing, but this does not mean we are not united. There is a basic substance that unites us".” “

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