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Italy's Catholics support divorce communion

AFP
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Italy's Catholics support divorce communion
Eighty-four percent of practising Catholics in Italy are in favour of allowing remarried divorced people to receive communion. Photo: Alwyn Ladell

It is a topic which has bitterly divided Church leaders reviewing family teachings at the Vatican, but a new poll published on Tuesday showed practising Catholics in Italy strongly support communion for remarried divorced people.

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As a global council on the Church's approach to the family entered its second day, the poll published in the Corriere della Sera daily also showed the majority of Italians were in favour of gay marriage or civil unions.

The results of the Ispos survey may boost the liberal camp, which is battling conservatives to bring the Roman Catholic Church's approach to the family into line with the realities of modern society.

According to the poll, 84 percent of practising Catholics are in favour of allowing remarried divorced people to receive communion - a move currently banned by the Church because it holds their first marriage to be indissoluble.

In terms of same-sex partners, 37 percent of Italians are in favour of gay marriage while another 37 percent oppose gay marriage but support civil unions.

Among practising Catholics, 25 percent said they favour gay marriage while 37 percent would like to see civil unions.

The Ipsos survey was carried out between September 29 and 30 on a sample of 998 people.

Italy is the last big Western country yet to have legalised any form of union between same-sex couples.

While Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his centre-left government have pledged to bring in civil unions, the bill is languishing in the upper house of parliament, blocked by a series of challenges and proposed amendments.

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