Senior Catholic cardinal Angelo Bagnasco calls gay marriage a 'confusing Trojan horse' which undermines the family

He claimed that children "have a right to a mother and father"

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A senior Catholic cardinal has branded same-sex civil partnerships and marriages a “Trojan horse” that undermines the institution of the family, which he called “the core of humanity”.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, told a meeting of Italian bishops in the town of Assisi in Umbria on Monday that civil unions between homosexuals “confuse people”, particularly if the couples have children.

“It is irresponsible to weaken the family by creating new forms,” he said according to the Telegraph.

“It only confuses people and has the effect of being a sort of Trojan horse, undermining culturally and socially the core of humanity,” and told the audience that children “have a right to a mother and a father”.

Cardinal Bagnasco’s remarks have been regarded as an attack on mayors in Italy who have declared that gay marriages and civil partnerships performed abroad would be recognised by their respective councils. 

Angelino Alfano, the Italian deputy Prime Minister and interior minister, has also voiced his disagreement with the mayors, and last month ordered them to stop recognising the foreign documents.


His comments come a month after Pope Francis controversially called for Catholic clergy to show more compassion towards gay people and family arrangements which the Vatican considers to be unconventional.

“God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways,” he told a Vatican synod on family issues, adding that the Church had to “respond courageously to whatever new challenges come our way”.

Pope Francis’ tenure has demonstrated the gulf between conservative and liberal wings of the Catholic Church more starkly than ever, as he has attempted to adopt a more welcoming approach to homosexuality than previous leaders of the Catholic Church.