News / Europe

Pope Hints at Inter-faith Alliance Against Gay Marriage

Pope Benedict XVI watches a tablet at the Vatican, in Rome, December 12, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI watches a tablet at the Vatican, in Rome, December 12, 2012.
Reuters
— Pope Benedict on December 21 signaled the Vatican was ready to forge alliances with other religions against gay marriage, saying the family was threatened "to its foundations" by attempts to change its "true structure."

The pope's latest denunciation of gay marriage came in a Christmas address to Vatican officials in which he blended religion, philosophy, anthropology and sociology to illustrate the position of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican has gone on the offensive in response to gains for gay marriage in the United States and Europe, using every possible opportunity to denounce it through papal speeches or editorials in its newspaper or on its radio station.

Throwing the full weight of his office behind a study by France's chief rabbi on the effects the legalization of gay marriage would have on children and society, he said:

"There is no denying the crisis that threatens it (the family) to its foundations - especially in the Western world."

The family had to be protected because it was "the authentic setting in which to hand on the blueprint of human existence", he added.

Speaking in the frescoed Clementine Hall of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, the 85-year-old pope said the family was being threatened by "a false understanding of freedom" and a repudiation of life-long commitment in heterosexual marriage.

"When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child - essential elements of the experience of being human are lost," the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics said.

In the speech, one of the most important the pope gives every year, he said people could not "dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being".

The "pre-ordained duality of man and woman" had to be respected, he said, if families and children were not to lose their place and dignity.

People could not become what he called "abstract human beings" choosing for themselves what their nature would be, added.

Religious Alliance

In some countries, the Catholic Church has already joined forces with Jews, Muslims and members of other religions to oppose the legalization of gay marriage, in some cases presenting arguments based on legal, social and anthropological analyses rather than religious teachings.

Significantly, the pope specifically praised as "profoundly moving" a study by Gilles Bernheim, France's chief rabbi, which has become the subject of heated debate in that country.

Bernheim, also a philosopher, argues that homosexual rights groups "will use gay marriage as a Trojan Horse" in a wider campaign to "deny sexual identity and erase sexual differences" and "undermine the heterosexual fundamentals of our society".

His study, "Gay Marriage, Parenthood and Adoption: What We Often Forget To Say", argues that plans to legalize gay marriage are being made for "the exclusive profit of a tiny minority" and are often supported because of political correctness.

In his own speech on Friday, the pope repeated some of the concepts in the Bernheim study, including an assertion that children raised by gay couples would be more "objects" than individuals.

Franco Grillini, a leader of Italy's gay community, called the pope's words "great foolishness," saying: "Where gay marriage has been approved, there has been no consequence on heterosexual marriage".

Last month, voters in the U.S. states of Maryland, Maine and Washington state approved same-sex marriage, the first time marriage rights have been extended to same-sex couples by popular vote.

Same-sex unions have been legalized in six states and the District of Columbia by lawmakers or courts.

In November, Spain's highest court also upheld a gay marriage law, and in France the socialist government has unveiled a draft law that would allow gay marriage.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 22, 2012 1:09 AM
a great action by Gods

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid