Italian bishops urge referendum boycott
Italy's bishops have invited the faithful to abstain from voting in a referendum to change the law on assisted procreation and research with human embryos.
Zenit reports that Bishop Giuseppe Bertori said the boycott sends a "double no" message to the country's legislators.
"The proposal of the [Italian Bishops'] Science and Life Committee to abstain is the most logical and effective to achieve this rejection and, in this sense, it is shared by the bishops," he said.
The Church says that fundamental issues such as the elimination of human lives cannot depend on majority opinion.
Under Italian law, at least 50% of those with the right to vote must participate for a referendum to be valid.
The referendum's four proposals would cancel restrictions on clinical and experimental research with human embryos; remove a rule that limits to three the number of embryos than can be created during assisted-fertilisation procedures; eliminate the legal rights of the one conceived; and lift the ban on heterologous fertilization, which uses a third person.
No date has been set yet for the referendum.
Abstention Urged in Referendum on Embryo Research (Zenit 15/3/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Italian Catholic Bishops Conference | Referendum Fecondazione
Catholics must abstain in referendum, bishops argue (Catholic World News 16/3/05)
17 Mar 2005