Tuesday, January 11, 2005

This is WHY I am NO LONGER A Catholic

Pope attacks "unnatural" gay marriage
Ben Townley,
Gay.com UK
Tuesday 11 January, 2005

In a year marked by terrorism, natural disaster and war, the head of the Catholic Church Pope John Paul II listed gay marriage as the top of his - and therefore the religion's believers' - priorities in 2005 yesterday.

Speaking in his annual message to Vatican diplomats, the ailing 84 year old condemned the rise of pro-gay legislation, including the growing acceptance of laws giving either full or part marriage rights to same-sex couples.

In a five-page speech that was reportedly read out by an aide, he slammed laws that went against what he viewed as the "natural structure".

"Today the family is often threatened by social and cultural pressures which tend to undermine its stability," the International Herald Tribune quotes him as saying.

"But in some countries the family is also threatened by legislation which - at times directly - challenge its natural structure, which is and must necessarily be that of a union between a man and a woman founded on marriage."

He added that the family structure "must never be undermined by laws based on a narrow and unnatural vision of man".

His comments come as countries move closer to legalising full gay marriage. Already, Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of the US allow full marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Civil union legislation allowing many if not all of the rights is now available in France, Germany and here in the UK, after the passing of the Civil Partnership Act.

Additionally, Spain and Canada are the latest countries moving towards full gay marriage laws. Both are expected to have introduced such legislation by the end of 2005.

Although this is not the first time the Vatican has slammed gay marriage, it is thought that the inclusion of it in the annual speech illustrates how important the issue is to the Pope.

Previously he has worked indirectly to block pro-gay laws, calling on Catholic politicians to either repeal or block any laws that would give same-sex couples equal rights, or by speaking through the international network of bishops and cardinals.

Earlier this week, one of the more senior archbishops in Spain slammed the "epidemic" of homosexuality in the world, while others have called for psychological help for lesbians and gay people and the renouncing of the "sin" of sexual diversity.

In other areas of the speech, the Pope attacked abortion and stem cell research, as well as international wealth distribution



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