[...] Pope Benedict XVI on Monday slammed the planned legislation as weakening the family and harming society. "No legislation can change the law of the Creator without making the future of society precarious with laws which are in stark contrast with natural law," the pontiff said.
"A very concrete application of this principle can be found in relation to the family, which is the intimate communion of life as founded by the Creator, with its own rules," Benedict also said. The family "has its stability under divine laws. The good fortune of spouses and society does not depend on arbitrary acts."
The bill was approved last week for consideration in the parliament. It has proven to be highly divisive, even in Mr. Prodi's ruling coalition; if it fails, it could lead to the fall of the coalition and Mr. Prodi's government.