Pope Benedict XVI used the opportunity of his annual Christmas address to amp up his opposition to gay marriage Friday, calling homosexuality a “manipulation of nature.” He denounced people who “deny their nature” and “make it for themselves.” He claimed homosexuality was destroying the very “essence of the human creature.”
The Pope dedicated the speech to promoting “traditional family values” in the wake of campaigns to legalize same-sex marriage in France, the United States, Great Britain and elsewhere. He implied that the Vatican would be open to allying itself with other faiths who also oppose marriage equality.
During the speech, he referred to a study done by the Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, who called the campaign for marriage equality an “attack” on the traditional family. The Pope agreed, saying,
“There is no denying the crisis that threatens it [the family] to its foundations – especially in the Western world. 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.”
Earlier that same week, the Pope said gay marriage, along with abortion, was a threat to world peace.
Franco Grillini, a spokesman for the gay community in Italy, said the Pope’s speech was “great foolishness.” Grillini noted, “Where gay marriage has been approved, there has been no consequence on heterosexual marriage.”
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