Italy: Closer to Divorce

In Rome's 432 churches, prayers were offered "to spare Italy the calamity of divorce." Before an audience of 250 Italian newlyweds, Pope Paul VI declared that legislators should "venerate, honor and defend" the indissolubility of marriage. Premier Mariano Rumor urged his colleagues to make "one last careful meditation." All to no avail. Amid prayer vigils, the Chamber of Deputies adopted, by a 325-to-283 vote, a bill that will permit divorce for the first time in modern Italian history.

Under the bill, divorce would be permitted for such specific reasons as insanity, long-term imprisonment,...

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