Catholics insists that women’s protection treaty is ‘ungodly’

By Barry Duke

The Croatian Government voted on Friday to ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, widely known as the Istanbul Convention – and thousands, egged on by the Catholic Church, gathered to protest, saying the move would pave the way to same-sex marriage and will give rights to transgender people.

The Convention, agreed in 2011, has now been ratified by 29 countries, including 18 European Union member states. The treaty aims to be an instrument in combating domestic violence against women, protecting victims and prosecuting accused offenders. Among the forms of violence it seeks to counter are marital rape, stalking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Ahead of a huge rally against the convention last month, top Croatian Catholic Church clergy said that all those who support the Istanbul Convention should no longer be considered believers.

An anti-convention protester brandishes a crucifix at the anti-Convention rally in Zagreb last month.

The Catholic Church in Croatia, to which nearly 90 percent of the country’s 4.2 million people belong, labeled the convention a “heresy.”

To placate critics, the government issued a statement saying the treaty would not change Croatia’s legal definition of marriage as a union between …read more

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