Debating euthanasia, gay unions in the Pope's backyard

Because Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini is in charge of "the pope's backyard," his actions carry an emblematic weight that few others can rival. His comments at this week's meeting of the Permanent Council of the Italian Bishops' Conference are thus worth noting. The Permanent Council meets three times a year, and Ruini's major address has become a routine staple of front-page coverage in the Italian press. Ruini's message this time boils down to a resounding "no" on several hotly contested moral issues, most notably euthanasia - John L Allen

Debating euthanasia, gay unions in the Pope's backyard