Turin archbishop slams school program calling Jesus ‘gay-friendly’ and St. Paul a ‘homophobe’
TURIN, Italy, April 4, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – With a government program ostensibly teaching “anti-discrimination” and “anti-homophobia” in schools, the city of Turin, home of the famous Shroud of Turin, is being turned into an experimental “re-education camp,” the archbishop of Turin has said.
“We have arrived at ‘reverse discrimination,’” said Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia, in which families who want to raise their children according to Christian values, “which are at the root of European culture, are now having to deal with a ‘gender ideology’ that uses biblical language without any serious critical thought, with frankly worrying results.”
The “anti-homophobia” program introduced by the city of Turin for schools includes suggestions that St. Paul was a “homophobe” and that Jesus was “gay-friendly.” The archbishop said this characterization is the result of “ignorance” and is “preposterous not only from the perspective of believers but even more so in that of secularism, which is bound to respect the religious freedom of citizens.”
In comments re-published by the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, Avvenire, on Thursday, Nosiglia said that the way in which the biblical citations are presented in the city’s program will direct the reader to “negatively judge - and thus to condemn - just those who follow these teachings.” He called it a “one-sided” and “ideologically driven” interpretation that is as “distorted in spirit as it is in substance.”
“It should be remembered that the Bible is for all the Churches and Christian denominations a sacred text that contains the revelation of God himself for the good of humanity.”
The city has introduced the material for schools on a set of cards to introduce children and teachers alike to the concept of “gender discrimination,” a phenomenon that homosexualist activists regularly claim results in “homophobic bullying.” Avvenire notes that when the introduction of the cards was debated at the city council, they were “harshly criticized.”
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Archbishop Nosiglia called upon families to take charge of “sex education.” “For it devolves to them - the primary educators of their children - to exercise the right to approve or reject any teaching on sexuality that covers issues of great relevance of education,” he said.
He added that teachers should “take charge of religion [classes] to explain in detail to the students the meaning of the biblical passages mentioned, pointing out the superficiality of the questions that the cards offer.”
The archbishop’s comments were published following those of Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian bishops’ conference, denouncing a similar national program to train teachers in “gender diversity.”
Cardinal Bagnasco spoke in his inaugural address to the Italian bishops conference on March 24 of the three booklets developed by the government’s National Bureau Against Racial Discrimination (UNAR), a department of the Ministry for Equal Opportunities. The materials, called “Educating for Diversity” aimed “to instill in children preconceptions against the family, parenting, religious faith, the difference between father and mother,” the cardinal said, all of which results in a “real dictatorship” that would “flatten” real diversity and “treat the identity of man and woman as pure abstractions.”
The national program for schools was suspended after complaints, but lawyers and parliamentarians are still fighting a similar document that ordered all Italian journalists to conform to a set of “gay friendly” guidelines. Journalists were instructed to only show homosexuals and “transsexuals” in a positive light, on pain of professional sanctions and even possible jail time.