Italian bishops back citizenship for migrants' children

Senior catholic prelate wades into political dispute

Italian bishops back citizenship for migrants' children

Rome, May 10 - The head of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) on Friday waded into a political debate by saying he supported automatic citizenship rights for migrants' children born in Italy. "It's a fundamental human right," said CEI chief Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the archbishop of Genoa. The 70-year old prelate is considered a conservative and even received death threats for his remarks against gay marriage in 2007. Bagnasco's comments come in the wake of a proposal made by Italian Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge to grant Italian citizenship automatically to all children born in Italy to migrant parents. Kyenge is Italy's first black minister and her appointment has triggered a series of racist attacks. Citizenship is a "fundamental human right of the person" and one that needs to be "safeguarded," Bagnasco said. Politics needs to find "concrete ways" in which those who arrive in "Europe can find the integration that everyone wishes for and that is owed".

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