“Diversity” training for teachers and students, to promote homosexuality under the rubric of opposing “homophobia,” is a first step toward an enforced ideology of “gender” that is nothing more than a form of soft totalitarianism, a prominent Italian cardinal says.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the archbishop of Genoa and the influential head of the Italian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (CEI), warned against the growth of a “dictatorship of gender,” an ideology that includes the “normalization of homosexuality” and the dissemination of “bias against the family and religious faith.” Government pamphlets, offered as a solution to “homophobic bullying” are, in fact, designed to instill in children “preconceptions against the family, parenthood, religious faith, the difference between fathers and mothers,” he said.
The cardinal noted “with bitterness” the intention to make schools into “indoctrination and re-education camps” in service of this ideology that makes children into test subjects for vast social experiments.
In a speech this week to the Permanent Council of the CEI published by the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire, Bagnasco urged parents not to be “intimidated,” adding, “they have the right to respond with determination and clarity: there is no authority that can take this away.”
Bagnasco was prompted to make the comments after the Italian government announced that a kit of curriculum materials, titled “Education for Diversity,” was to be distributed to schools to teach children about “homophobia.”
“Parents must defend their children against gender ideology,” he insisted. He called the right of parents to educate their children “sacrosanct” and said it is a “grave duty of society – at all levels and forms – not to corrupt the youth with ideas and examples that no father and mother would want for their children.”
The government announced on March 20 that a planned day of professional development for teachers to implement “diversity” training was to be postponed. The Ministry of Education said only that it has put the two-day course off “until a later date” after members of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate raised several questions about the project, which was launched last December with a “national week against all forms of violence.”
At the CEI meeting, Bagnasco also decried the habit of the media and the government of blaming the family for a variety of social ills. “It is striking that the family is often represented as a scapegoat,” he said, “as the source of the evils of our time, rather than the defense of universal humanity and the best guarantee of social continuity.” He called the family the “nursery of the natural good of humanity and a just society.”
He warned that an “ideological reading” of the goals of government creates “a real dictatorship that wants to flatten [true] diversity, to approve the treatment of the identity of man and woman as pure abstractions.”
At that meeting, the cardinal also reiterated the “value of human life in all its stages, from conception to birth, growth to full maturity, decline until natural death,” adding that the defense of the unborn “is closely linked to the defense of any human right.”
“The rights of the child,” he said, “are now more and more attacked: reduced to organic material to be used well, or for slavery, or for cruel spectacle, or as a weapon of war, even when not exposed to the tragic possibility of abortion or euthanasia.” This abuse, he said, “cries out in vengeance to God.”
Bagnasco, as the archbishop of Genoa and head of the Italian bishops’ conference, is one of the most important Italian prelates, and has used this prominence as one of the strongest defenders of the Church’s teachings on life and family in Italian politics.
Certain segments of the Italian government have taken up the international project of promoting homosexualist and gender ideology at the behest of the Council of Europe.
Recently Italy’s National Bureau Against Racial Discrimination (UNAR), a department of the Ministry for Equal Opportunities, issued guidelines ordering journalists to use only positive language and photographs in writing about homosexuals and “transsexuals,” threatening unspecified professional sanctions and even potential jail time for non-compliance.
The UNAR worked with the national homosexualist lobby group Arcigay to develop the Diversity in Education project, and the Church’s intervention was blasted today by its promoters in the government, who have already spent 250,000 Euros on it. Il Foglio newspaper reported that there is a total of ten million Euros earmarked in the budget for “fighting homophobia” by the UNAR.
Valerio Cattano wrote in the newspaper Fatto Quotidiano that the materials did nothing more than teach children to be “more welcoming and respectful of differences” and included chapters on “sexual identity and homophobia,” its “definition, origins and maintenance” and the “physical and psychological consequences of homophobic bullying: how to recognize and intervene.”
“It is the law,” Cattano added, “that it is no longer enough to be just ‘gay friendly’ but you must be ‘gay-informed.’”