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Priest sparks woke row and Christmas fury after replacing Nativity’s Joseph for same-sex couple


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A priest in Italy has sparked outrage after modified their church’s nativity scene by replacing Joseph with another woman.

Pro-life and family campaigners in the country have slammed the “dangerous and blasphemous” scene which has ditched the conventional coupling of Mary and Joseph.

Nativity scenes are popular in the predominately Catholic country, however recently, they have become caught up in culture wars as Italian society becomes more secular.

An online petition, which calls for the bishop in the province of Avellino to intervene, has already received more than 21,000 signatures.

It claims that the bishop’s updated nativity scene contradicts the Church’s teachings on family, surrogacy, and same-sex parenting.

It is illegal to have children through surrogacy in Italy, and the government is considering a law which would make it a criminal act for Italians to go abroad to try the practice.

However, the priest at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, in the Avellino hamlet of Capocastello di Mercogliano, east of Naples, has defended his choice to alter the traditional nativity scene.

“I wanted to show with this scene that families are no longer just the traditional ones,” Father Vitaliano Della Sala said.

“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.”

Father Della Sala is well-known in Italy for sympathising with LGBT and left-wing causes.

He says his attitude is in line with that of Pope Francis, who this week allowed priests to bless same-sex couples in a landmark ruling.

However senator Maurizio Gasparri, of the co-ruling Forza Italia party, said the LGBT friendly nativity “offends all those who always had respect and devotion for the Holy Family”.

The Pro-Vita & Famiglia (Pro-Life and Family) group called it “dangerous, as well as shameful and blasphemous”.

Earlier this week, a senator from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party proposed a new bill that would protect the country’s “cultural roots” by fining school principals who are choosing to scrap nativity scenes.

“For some years now we have witnessed unacceptable and embarrassing decisions by some schools that ban nativity scenes or modify the deep essence of Christmas by transforming it into improbable winter festivities so as not to offend believers of other religions,” said Lavinia Mennuni, a senator for the ruling Brothers of Italy party, who introduced the bill.

Under the proposed legislation, schools would be unable to prevent “initiatives promoted by parents, students, or competent school bodies, aimed at activities linked to traditional celebrations such as Christmas and Easter, such as the setting up of nativity scenes, plays and other events related to them”.

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Written by: radioroxi

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