A church in Italy took considerable backlash for its “dangerous” and “blasphemous” nativity scene featuring a figure of a second woman — in place of Joseph — alongside the figures of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus.
The Church of Saints Peter and Paul, in Capocastello di Mercogliano, is under fire after Father Vitaliano Della Sala decided it would be a good idea to have a “more inclusive” nativity in his church, Reuters reported.
“I wanted to show with this scene that families are no longer just the traditional ones,” Della Sala told the outlet.
“In our parishes we see more and more children from the new types of families that exist and are part of our society, children of separated and divorced people, gay couples, single people, young mothers,” he added.
In his response, he also referred people to Pope Francis’ recent move allowing priests to bless same-sex couples, the New York Post noted.
The same-sex nativity scene, with one of the Mary figures draped in rainbow colors, sparked an online petition for its removal. It was started by Pro-Vita & Famiglia, a pro-life group, that called on the bishop in the province to have it taken down.
“An LGBT nativity scene with ‘two mothers’ was set up in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Capocastello di Mercogliano, in the province of Avellino,” the petition read.
“A blasphemous and provocative representation that distorts the meaning of the Nativity scene itself and of the Holy Family: both with the removal of Saint Joseph, sacrificed on the altar of political correctness, and with the very serious message relating to the ‘two mothers’ which ‘sanctifies’ a practice as illegal as the buying and selling of gametes,” it added.
At the time of this publication, the group has almost reached its goal of 25,000 signatures, sitting at 24,610.
Senator Maurizio Gasparri, of the co-ruling Forza Italia party, said the LGBT nativity scene “offends all those who always had respect and devotion for the Holy Family.”
The pro-life group called it “dangerous, as well as shameful and blasphemous,” Reuters noted.