According to the BBC, Pope Benedict XVI has lent his support, by phone, to Italian Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who has received death threats in recent days over his public opposition to same-sex marriage.
Over the weekend, the Archbishop received a live bullet in the mail along with a photo of himself with a swastika cut into the photo paper. This act however, was just the latest in a string of threats which began last month when the doors of his cathedral in Genoa were defaced with graffiti.
The Archdiocese has stepped up security around the prelate, who now has armed guards regularly nearby.
The BBC reported that the Holy Father expressed solidarity with the Archbishop in his call, and charged him to continue working for human and religious rights, without which "it was impossible to build a true, free and stable democracy."
Archbishop Bagnasco was recently made president of the Italian bishop’s conference and the one of the Church’s primary spokesman against a proposed Italian law which would grant marital rights to same sex partners. The legislation, he has said, undermines the traditional and ancient position of the institution of marriage within society.