An Italian cardinal wants parents to fight schools' efforts to prevent anti-gay bullying, saying they are 'brainwashing' kids into being LGBTI friendly.
Archbishop of Genoa Angelo Bagnasco likened anti-homophobia state education in Italy to a totalitarian dictatorship.
He also said the efforts were turning schools into ‘indoctrination and re-education camps’.
In a speech this week published by the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire, Bagnasco slammed the recently announced government pamphlets in schools aiming to teach children about love and diversity.
But this solution to ‘homophobic bullying’, Bagnasco says, is in fact designed to brainwash children to have ‘preconceptions against the family, parenthood, religious faith and the difference between fathers and mothers.’
The cardinal has urged parents to take a stand and not be ‘intimidated’.
‘Parents must defend their children against gender ideology,’ he insisted. ‘It is a grave duty of society - at all levels and forms - not to corrupt the youth with ideas and examples that no father and mother would want for their children.’
On 20 March, the government announced a planned day of diversity training for teachers would be postponed to a later date following outrage from church officials.
It is believed the Italian government has budgeted €10 million ($13.8m) for its fight against homophobia in schools.