In a recent judgement, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that the custody of a minor should be given to the mother living with another woman rather than to a violent father.
Given the circumstances of the case, the decision was probably unavoidable, but the Court made some controversial statements having a general character, such as affirming that the unfitness of a gay family to raise a minor is not based on ‘scientific or empirical findings’ but only on ‘mere bias’.
The judgement drew severe criticism from the Italian Catholic Church. Bishop Domenico Sigalini, President of the Commission for Lay People of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, said that ‘no civilization can be based on Court judgments’, adding that the Supreme Court decision is at odds with ‘many studies made on family’. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the Vatican ‘Minister for Family’, warned that such decisions can ‘turn the child into some sort of merchandise’. ‘A child should grow up in the framework of what in the history of world has always been the ordinary way, id est with a father and a mother,’ said Archbishop Paglia, ‘to violate this principle is dangerous first of all for the child, but also for the whole society… we’re just risking to be ridiculous… equality is one thing and respect for diversity is another thing, because in order to have a solid equality you need to respect diversity’.