The Italian anti-homophobia bill started out an absolutely absurdist, almost parodic piece of legislation that no government could possibly pass. It included, among other things, provisions for the arrest and detaining of people suspected of being likely to cause offense to gays, and allowed the courts to order such people to undergo re-education programmes, part of which was to work for the gay lobbyist groups.
Of course, the response was howls of outrage from the right, and from (likely carefully coached) people on the left, defending civil freedoms like freedom of expression and religion, but with everyone carefully saying, "But of course we deplore the evils of homophobia itself... "
Parliament carved out all the really outrageous stuff in committee, and presented the bill, with its 400+ amendments, in a new and acceptable form. The gay lobby groups dutifully issued press releases complaining that it was now toothless, and the bill is now peacefully sailing through the Senate more or less unopposed, and we are about to insert for the first time into Italian law the concept of "homophobia" (still undefined) as an offence. Mission accomplished.
Now, ask yourself how the mid-way relatio at the Synod could have fulfilled such a role. The first one was a red herring; it was so obvious a piece of liberal engineering that anyone, even those bishops who are not that... shall we say... attuned to the Traditional end of the Church were shouting from the rooftops that it was impossible. Then, a revolt in the synod aula, and everyone congratulating each other on having thwarted the forces of darkness.
Two days later, presto! Along comes the final document with most of the squelchy stuff taken out (sort of) and everyone is shouting that it's a major victory for the faith, and Sauron's Morlocks have been defeated... cue swelling Aragorn coronation music...
Everyone now goes home to carry on our "weak and ambiguous" business as usual.
Wondering if I'm making it up?
Ask our friend Mr. Terrence Weldon over at Queering the Church what he thinks...
"Two (or Three) Steps Forward, One Back Is Still Progress"
"The interim report got such a strong reception on Monday precisely because it was so very much more supportive than anybody had been expecting. The fact that the same language did not make into the final report therefore, should have surprised nobody..
"The LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council press release draws attention to just how close we came to an endorsement of full and explicit inclusion (emphasis added):
'We note that the paragraphs on homosexuality which did not receive the required 2/3 rd‘s vote, failed by only two votes, notwithstanding significant support from a majority of bishops.'
"If the more welcoming / progressive bishops failed to retain the positive language originally proposed, for us or for those who have divorced and remarried, because they only just failed to secure the required two – thirds majority, it is far more important to note the far more dismal failure of the reactionaries to secure even a simple majority..."