What italians (95% Catholic, but few of those actually are religious) are most worried about is the impact a conservative Pope may have on our internal politics. Let's say it straight out: in Italy there's no such thing as a complete separation between Church and State. To this, one must add that Ratzinger is outspokenly a "political" priest. He's gonna put pressure on the parliament and the govt., especially in ussues like adoption, divorce (still hard to get one here) and, what's more likely) reproductive freedom. I know it's all a matter of faith that should be left to the faithful... but it's gonna have an impact on the whole country as well.
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from the article: New pope seen continuing relations with Israel, Jews