Nunzio Galantino is secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference. RNS photo courtesy Cristian Gennari

Nunzio Galantino is secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference. RNS photo courtesy Cristian GennariRNS photo courtesy Romano Siciliani

ROME (RNS) Italy’s Catholic bishops have condemned a court ruling that lifts a ban on married couples using sperm donors for artificial insemination, likening the move to playing God.

“None of us are the masters of anyone else, not even parents with respect to their own children,” the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, said Wednesday (June 11).

“There is a glaring contradiction between those who proclaim freedom, respect, rights and then do not clearly recognize the rights of those who do not have the chance to express it for themselves.”

On Monday, the country’s Constitutional Court detailed the reasons behind its April 9 ruling that upheld a couple’s right to have a child even in the case of sterility. As part of the ruling, the court overturned a ban on donor sperm that did not come from the husband.

Carlo Casini is president of Italy’s anti-abortion Movement for Life. Creative Commons photo by Nicolo Tognarini

Carlo Casini is president of Italy’s anti-abortion Movement for Life. Creative Commons photo by Nicolo Tognarini

Carlo Casini, president of Italy’s anti-abortion Movement for Life, also attacked the court decision, saying it made no reference to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Casini said the decision could mean that the practice of abandoning children would become “institutionalized and encouraged.”

“They are looking at only the interests and desires of adults, not the interests or the rights of children,” he said.

In a statement, the Italian health ministry said it would consider every aspect of the ruling — as well as available facilities, criteria for donor selection and issues such as informed consent — before acting on the court decision.

Italy’s Catholic bishops also recently condemned a new law aimed at speeding up divorce by doing away with a three-year separation waiting period.



  1. The Catholic bishops, including the bishop of Rome, and every other Catholic should mind their own business and quit trying to shove their religious beliefs or so-called religious morals onto others. They shouldn’t even be attempting to do that to their own people. Their own people are ignoring them. Sadly, they don’t permanently walk out the doors of their churches in protest against these invasions of natural rights.

    Freedom to study, freedom to learn, freedom to think, and freedom to decide are natural, individual rights. The bishops abuse those rights in the name of their evangelizing–just as they hid the sexual abuse of young people all over the world by “celibate,” presumed “chaste,” Catholic clergy.

  2. elizabeth grudzien

    None of us are masters of anyone else?
    “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” quote from The Bible, book of Genesis

    • Fat lot of good that did us.

      With the pacific plastic island, global warming, human induced extinction, poisoned skies, polluted waters, refuse which takes millenia to decompose, we as a species have to come up with a saner attitude concerning our world besides, “God tells me I have dominion over it”

      There is nothing sane or rational about the Italian bishops response. Its people who like to play God being annoyed that others are playing God.

  3. elizabeth grudzien

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.
    William Ernest Henley

  4. The Great God Pan

    It is good to know what Italy’s bishops think about other people’s divorces and pregnancies.

    But I want to know what they think of chunky vs smooth peanut butter. Which is God’s will and which is a Satanic abomination? No more PB&J sandwiches must be made until the good Bishops have weighed in. We are all in thrall to Catholic bishops from Italy. From God’s lips to their ears to their lips to man’s laws, such is the path through which True Wisdom must pass.

  5. Why not respect the views of others? If your position is the truth, then you would be willing to discuss it maturely on a forum like this–a discussion that I personally would like to hear, to see if I’m wrong in any way by agreeing with the bishops. Everyone deserves respect, even online.

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