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Media mischief gives gay Catholics false hope

The Italian Jesuits' journal Civilta Cattolica has denied widespread press reports that it has challenged the traditional Vatican teaching on homosexuality by suggesting that same-sex couples should be recognised by the Catholic Church.

"We are not in favour of, nor do we want to promote, this type of union; we simply note it, proposing that lawmakers regulate this phenomenon because it is their duty," explained Fr Michele Simone, one of the journal's editors.

The editorial in the latest issue argued that such couples are "a social phenomenon" that cannot be left alone.

Some Italian media outlets interpreted this statement as support for gay unions and went on to quote Franco Grillini, a homosexual activist, expressing his "enormous joy and satisfaction" over the alleged opinions.

The Zenit news agency commented that the reports would have been "earthshaking" if they were true, as drafts of the biweekly review are revised by the Vatican State Secretariat.

Zenit says the editorial confirmed the Vatican's opposition to the adoption of children by homosexuals who pose as couples, but referred to the need to study the "social phenomenon" of same-sex partners.