Tuesday, May 31

Pope Benedict determined to haul Catholics into the 19th century

Spain recently endorced gay marriage. But just next door, Pope Benedict wants to ban infertility assistance. Italian law would make sure infertile couples cannot receive sperm or egg donations to enable them to have children, and gay couples would be allowed no fertility assistance whatsoever. The Times also notes that Benedict rallied in support of intervening in the Terri Shiavo case, which puts his position at odds with well over 3/4 of Americans on that subject.

"Church officials, starting with Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the vicar of Rome and a close aide to Benedict, are urging Italians to boycott the referendum because any referendum that does not attract 50 percent of voters automatically fails. Therefore, critics argue, the referendum will be decided less on a discussion of the issues than on a legal quirk. Several polls show that Italian voters largely support repealing the sections in question, but also that less than 50 percent will vote."