Gay Marriage Threatens ‘Future of Humanity Itself,’ Pope Says

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Pope Benedict XVI giving his annual speech to Holy See Diplomats at the Hall of the Throne
Source: Stefano Carofei, Getty Images, Jan. 9, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican diplomats from 179 countries that same-sex marriage threatens “human dignity” in his annual “State of the World” address delivered on Jan. 9, 2012.

“Education needs settings. Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman,” said the 84-year-old head of the 1.3 billion-member Catholic Church. “This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”

Until the last quarter-century, most Christian churches maintained that homosexual activities were immoral. Recently, some Protestant denominations in North American and Europe have argued that the overall message of the Bible is acceptance and justice for all people, including homosexuals. On July 4, 2005, The United Church of Christ became the first mainstream Christian church to accept gay marriage.

While some Protestant denominations have begun to accept same-sex marriage, the Vatican continues to oppose it. In a Sep. 13, 2010 speech, Pope Benedict XVI said the Roman Catholic Church “cannot approve of legal initiatives that imply a re-evaluation of the life of the couple and the family.”

In a July 31, 2003 statement by Pope Benedict when he was Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II, he wrote, “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law.” He added, “Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts ‘as a serious depravity.” On Feb. 23, 2005, Pope John Paul II called same-sex marriages part of “a new ideology of evil.

10 countries allow same-sex couples to marry: the Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), Canada (2005), Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Argentina (2010), Iceland (2010), and Portugal (2010).

It is also legal in six US states: Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), the District of Columbia (2010), New York (2011), and New Hampshire (2010), which is holding its presidential primary on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.

Sources:

“Liberal Family Values, Same-sex Marriage a Threat to the Future of Humanity: Pope,” www.nationalpost.com, Jan. 9, 2012

Philip Pullella, “Gay Marriage a Threat to Humanity’s Future – Pope,” www.reuters.com, Jan. 9, 2012

“Pope Benedict: The Financial Crisis and Religious Freedom at the Heart of the Pope’s Discourse to Diplomats,” www.radiovaticana.org, Jan. 9, 2012