(AP) Pope Benedict XVI condemned same-sex unions as anarchic "pseudo-matrimony" Monday and reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion.
Benedict repeatedly referred to marriage as a union between man and woman in an address to a conference of the Diocese of Rome on the role of the family held at St. John Lateran basilica.
He said matrimony was not just a "casual sociological construction" that changed in certain times in history but rather an institution that had its roots "in the most profound essence of the human being."
"The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man," he said.
The Vatican defines matrimony as a divine union between man and woman.
Wow that was a real helpful editorial clarification. Amazing how many times you could replace Vatican says" with "Jesus said" or "The Church has always taught" and have it be correct.
Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, spearheaded a Vatican campaign against same-sex unions in 2003, issuing guidelines for Catholic politicians to oppose laws granting legal rights to gay couples when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The former cardinal also frequently voiced the church’s opposition to abortion — a message he repeated Monday.
Children, he said, were the fruit of marriage and reflected God’s love for man.
"From here it becomes all the more clear how contrary it is to human love, to the profound vocation of man and woman, to systematically close their union to the gift of life, and even worse to suppress or tamper with the life that is born," he said.
Here are some of the sample headlines for this "Pope Slams Gay ‘Pseudo-Matrimony’", "Pope blasts gays, divorce in first speech" "First speech" since becoming Pope? Wow that must have been some speech with him slamming and blasting away. I think out of about 30 different headlines only one mentioned that he also talked about divorce and forms of heterosexual pseudo-marriage.
Here is some more information from the speech.
In a clear reference to contraception, the Pope said couples went against the nature of love itself when they "systematically shut off" the possibility of "the gift of life."
The 78-year-old Pope’s wide-ranging speech, interrupted by applause several times, touched on themes such as human sexuality and freedom. It clearly showed his background as one of the Roman Catholic Church’s leading theologians.
"The greatest expression of freedom is not the search for pleasure," he said, adding that society seemed to want to tear down the moral goalposts he said were needed for its future.
"Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to (moral) education is the overwhelming presence in our society and culture of a type of relativism that recognizes nothing as definitive…," he said.
Christopher has a Pope Benedict XVI roundup here.