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Bishops nix Catholics marrying Muslims

ROME, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Because of cultural differences, Italian bishops have warned against Roman Catholics marrying Muslims.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, one of the right-hand men of Pope Benedict XVI, said it is most often that a Catholic woman who marries a Muslim man and most often she who converted to Islam.

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In addition, the children of mixed marriages tend to be brought up as Muslims and not as Catholics, The Times of London reported.

In a statement, the bishops warned that if an Italian woman settled in her husband's country of origin, her rights were "not guaranteed in the way they are in Italy or in other Western nations."

Church officials said there were 200,000 mixed marriages in Italy, with 20,000 this year alone, an increase of 10 percent over 2004.

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