Bishops daily blasts Vendola for using 'human market'

Row over SEL leader using surrogate mother to become parent

(ANSA) - Rome, March 1 - Avvenire, the daily newspaper of Italian bishops conference CEI, on Tuesday blasted Left Ecology and Freedom (SEL) party leader Nichi Vendola after he announced the birth of his and his male partner's son thanks to surrogate motherhood at the weekend. "The sad human market is growing and it has entries on the left and right," Avvenire said in an editorial criticising the former Puglia governor. "They should stop calling it rights". The case has fueled tension over the issue of gays adopting children even though a provision that would have allowed homosexuals to adopt their partners' biological children was stripped from a bill regulating civil unions last week.
    On Monday top-selling Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana (Christian Family) on Monday slammed Vendola too for using a practice that is illegal in Italy. "The defender of the poor and the oppressed went abroad like a gentleman of means, orphaned a baby of its mother and eluded the (Italian) Constitution," the weekly wrote on its website. "Wasn't he supposed to be a leftist?".
    Northern League leader Matteo Salvini blasted Vendola, accusing him of "disgusting selfishness".
    Beppe Grillo, the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), was also critical.
    "There is something about the concept of wombs for rent that scares me and it has nothing to do with homosexuality or heterosexuality, but with the logic that says 'we'll do it because it's possible'," comedian-turned-political Grillo wrote in a letter published in Tuesday's Corriere della Sera. Premier Matteo Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) is set to propose new legislation on adoptions, including those by gay parents, after the stepchild adoption provision was dropped to allow the civil unions bill to clear the Senate last week. But Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has said this would breach a pact that his centrist AP group reached with the PD to win its support.
    Renzi replied indirectly by saying that "the time of vetoes" to needed reforms - such as the civil unions bill now before the Lower House - is over.