Pope Slams Gay Marriages, Birth Control

World | June 7, 2005, Tuesday // 00:00

Pope Benedict XVI has condemned same-sex unions as anarchic "pseudo-matrimony" and reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion. The pontiff 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 defended matrimony as 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." Children, he also said, were the fruit of marriage and reflected God's love for humans. Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, spearheaded a campaign by the Vatican 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.

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