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Vatican Opposes Italy’s Anti-Homophobia Bill, Says It Reduces “The Freedom Guaranteed For The Church” – Current Events

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Discussed in the Senate (the upper house of the Italian parliament), the bill aims to punish acts of discrimination and incitement to violence against homosexuals, lesbians, transgender people and people with disabilities. It was introduced by Democratic MP Alessandro Zan and approved by the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of the Italian parliament) in November.

At the time, the Italian episcopate had already vigorously challenged the law, prompting immediate protests from LGBTIQ + rights organizations and parliamentarians.

“The Italian bishops have said that the possible introduction of new punishment provisions could open the way for liberticidal abuse and discrimination,” they said, arguing that Italy already has the appropriate legal instruments.

But the story did not end there. According to the newspaper Corriere della seraArchbishop Paul Gallagher, who has been in charge of Vatican diplomacy since 2014, delivered a diplomatic “oral note” – an official communication written from a third person, without a signature, but usually initialed – to the Italian embassy on June 17, stating that some parts of the diploma violate bilateral agreements between Italy and the church.

The Vatican explains that the legislation calls into question the freedom guaranteed by the Italian Catholic Church to organize and practice religion, as well as the freedom of speech and thought afforded to citizens and Catholic associations, given the Concordat. [acordo entre a Santa Sé e um estado]…

According to the report, the law does not exempt Italian Catholic schools from the obligation to participate in the National Day Against Homophobia, which is set for May 17. The Church declares that this proposal threatens, in a general sense, the “freedom of thought” of the Catholic community.

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The diplomatic note also expressed concern that the law could lead to new lawsuits. “We ask you to accept our concerns,” the archbishop said.

In turn, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin explained Vatican news that there was no request to withdraw the bill, no undue pressure on the work of the Italian parliament, but only concerns about the interpretation of certain passages transmitted through normal diplomatic channels.

“I approved the note verbale sent to the Italian ambassador, and I definitely thought there might be a reaction. However, it was an internal document that was exchanged between government administrations through diplomatic channels. Will not be published,” he said.

<< We are against any attitude or gestures of intolerance or hatred towards people because of their sexual orientation, as well as their ethnicity or religion. We are concerned about the interpretative issues that might arise if a text with vague and vague content is adopted, which will ultimately lead to a shift in the judiciary's definition of what is a crime and what is not - but without providing the judge with the necessary parameters to make a distinction. " - he explained, reinforcing the idea that “the concept of discrimination remains very vague in terms of the content of the“ law ”.

“In the absence of adequate specification, there is a risk of combining a wide variety of behaviors and therefore punishing any possible difference between men and women, with consequences that may be paradoxical and which, in our opinion, should be avoided while there is still time. The requirement of definition is especially important because legislation is moving into the field of criminal law, where, as is well known, what is allowed and what is prohibited to do must be clearly defined, ”he said.

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To the church what belongs to the church, to the state, what belongs to the state.

On June 22, Alessandro Zan rejected the Vatican’s arguments, stating that “the text does not in any way restrict freedom of expression or freedom of religion.”

On the other hand, the Church received the full support of the far-right leader of the League of the North, Matteo Salvini, who expressed his opposition to “the censorship and condemnation of those who believe that mother, father and family are the heart of our society.”

It is expected that after the delivery of the note, this issue will be brought to the attention of the Italian Prime Minister and Parliament. Although, Mario Draghi – a practicing Catholic – has already spoken out on the oral note, warning the Vatican not to interfere in parliamentary debates, since the state is secular.

“Our legal system contains all the guarantees to ensure that laws always respect constitutional principles and international obligations, including the Concordat with the Church,” he said.

According to the Concordat, if there are signs of misapplication of the agreement, a “mixed committee” could be called to analyze what happened to understand the next steps – but experts say it is too early for that decision.

In this sense, the Church defended that the memo presented acted as a “preventive intervention” to get people thinking about what was at stake. “Later intervention, that is, after the adoption of the law, would be belated. The Holy See could be accused of guilty silence, especially when it comes to the aspects that are the subject of the agreement, ”explained Pietro Parolin.

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Thus, the Vatican does not consider the incident to be an “interference” in the affairs of the Italian state, which is of a secular and not confessional nature. “For this reason, we have opted for a note verbale tool, which is an appropriate means of dialogue in international relations,” said the cardinal.

<< We confine ourselves to recalling the text of the main provisions of the agreement with the Italian state, which may be affected. We did it in a loyal and collaborative relationship, and I dare say, a friendship that characterizes and characterizes our relationship. “The Concordat issue was not directly addressed in the legal debate,” he said. “Note Verbale wanted to draw attention to this point that should not be forgotten. As has also been pointed out by some, the issue of freedom of opinion concerns not only Catholics, but all people, touching upon what Vatican Council II defines. it is like a “sanctuary” of conscience, ”he concluded.

In addition to the Vatican, the Italian Episcopal Conference has also spoken out on this bill, proposing some changes, which are also requested at the end of the oral note.

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Qatar treats Santos Silva better than Marcelo

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Joao Sena

In Doha, Augusto Santos Silva guaranteed that there would be no problems between Portugal and Qatar. “The two countries have tense diplomatic relations. Qatar is one of the Gulf states where we have a permanent ambassador and it is a strategic region for us,” said the second representative of the Portuguese state. And he also mentioned that there are several points that “should not be forgotten” in order to maintain good bilateral relations. Referring to his experience as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he recalled two facts: “First, it is that, unfortunately, the former Portuguese Ambassador to Qatar, Ricardo Prachana, died in office and the support provided by the Qatari authorities was unsurpassed. (…) Second fact [foi] when we had to remove dozens of people from Afghanistan, namely Afghans who collaborated with the Portuguese armed forces, in a very difficult operation. We did this because we had Pakistan’s support on the ground route and Qatar’s support on the air route.” Santos Silva’s agreement with the Qatari authorities goes even further when he praises “the very clear position that Qatar has taken in the United Nations General Assembly condemning the war against Ukraine and the importance of the geopolitical and geo-economic perspective that this region has in the world today.”

moderate speech pleases

Santos Silva’s statements clearly show more cordiality compared to the speeches of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and António Costa (the so-called “hostile”), as well as the subsequent human rights narrative that has rattled the Qatari government to, as reported by Nascer do SOL in its latest issue, admitting that he blacklisted the country as soon as the World Cup is over, the same is happening with Germany, Denmark and France, which have followed the same type of discourse.

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Diplomatic efforts by Santos Silva appear to have helped mitigate the damage caused by the statements of Marcelo Rebelo de Souza, who at the Doha conference refocused on human rights violations, knowing that previous statements were considered “hostile”. ‘ by the Government of Qatar. The diplomatic corps immediately took action at the Palacio das Necessidades and in Doha to prevent the situation from escalating. A Portuguese delegation was sent to Qatar to ensure that Santos Silva’s trip would not bring more problems to Portugal and that the diplomatic calculation would have no repercussions.

In addition to his presence at the stadium to watch Portugal play, the President of the Assembly of the Republic met with the Qatari authorities, where “all matters of interest to both Portugal and Qatar” were considered. Homework was done well and Santos Silva was awarded state awards. He was met at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and stayed at a hotel reserved exclusively for heads of state (instead of the Banyan Tree Hotel reserved for vice presidents and chairmen of parliaments). an attitude very different from that given to the President of the Republic during his visit to Qatar, as he was received by the daughter of the Sheikh of the Emirate, who was at the stadium in her private box without receiving the Portuguese head. The Qataris seem to know how to forgive but not forget.

Western hypocrisy

On the subject of human rights in Qatar, Angelo Correia, a former interior minister (de Cavaco Silva), believes this is “hypocrisy and a Western superiority complex.” Speaking to Nascer do SOL, the analyst and political commentator added that the West is “punishing itself for its past mistakes regarding the barbaric colonization of some countries in this region, while at the same time assuming the supremacy of the present as if nothing had happened in the past. In Europe there is a contradiction between sinning excess in this matter and showing superiority over those who are not yet on their way. This is an ambiguous, pompous and contradictory attitude.” But the political class is also responsible: “Portugal’s position towards Qatar left much to be desired in some circumstances, and some people and some parties showed a certain opportunism. There are currently two problems that elude the Portuguese democratic reality: the lack of memory and then the strong agitation for political correctness.”

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Relations between Portugal and Qatar have entered a less tense phase and the presence of Ana Catarina Méndez, Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who replaced the Prime Minister, who canceled her trip for health reasons, in yesterday’s game in which Portugal lost to South Korea (1-2) an example of this. “This is the day we should all unite with the colors of Portugal, the colors of an open, modern and inclusive society that I am proud to represent,” he told Lusa.

António Costa is expected to go to the Round of 16 game on Tuesday and if the national team continues to compete, with Santos Silva reaching the quarter-finals and Marcelo Rebelo de Souza reaching the semi-finals, then… But one thing is for sure: an agreement is needed. official discourse so that the country is not blacklisted by the emirate.



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“Insidious wave” killed a passenger and injured four people during a cruise

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UOne person died and four were injured after a giant wave hit a cruise ship in Antarctica on Wednesday during a storm.

The cruise was bound for Ushuaia, Argentina – the main starting point for expeditions to Antarctica – when the “killer wave incident” occurred, according to a report by cruise line Viking Polaris quoted by CBS News this Friday.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that a passenger has died as a result of the incident,” Viking Polaris said, noting that he had notified the victim’s family and expressed his “deepest condolences.”

Four other tourists “suffered non-life-threatening injuries” and were treated on board, the company said.

Speaking to WRAL-TV, Susie Gooding, a passenger on the cruise, said the wave’s impact was so “shocking” that passengers wondered if they had hit an “iceberg”.

“Everything was fine until a killer wave hit us and it happened all of a sudden,” Gooding said, adding that no one knew if “equipment needed to be prepared in order to leave the ship.”

Viking Polaris said it was “investigating facts related to this incident.”

Read also: Madeira is recognized as the “Best Cruise Destination in Europe”.

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At least 90% of the world’s population has become immune to Covid, according to WHO.

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BUT The assessment was announced by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a video press conference.

However, Ghebreyesus warned that “gaps in surveillance, testing, sequencing” of the genetics of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 and “in vaccination continue to create ideal conditions for the emergence of a worrying new variant that could cause significant mortality.”

The world-dominant SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus variant of concern to Omicron has more than 500 subvariants, all highly contagious and with genetic mutations that make it easier to overcome immune barriers without causing serious disease. WHO.

In total, the covid-19 pandemic has caused 6.6 million deaths globally and about 640 million infections, according to notifications made by countries to the WHO, which noted that the real number is much higher given cases have not always been communicated.

More than 8,500 deaths from covid-19 have been reported in the past week, a number that the WHO director-general deemed “unacceptable after three years of a pandemic” because there are “tools to prevent infections and save lives.” .

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, discovered in 2019 in China and rapidly spreading around the world, with several variants and sub-variants.

Read also: COVID-19. Azores with 63 new cases in the last week

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