Pope Benedict XVI was in such jolly good Christmas spirits today that he merrily PROCLAIMED his belief that gay folks are a threat to world peace:
The pope pressed his opposition to gay marriage Friday, denouncing what he described as people manipulating their God-given identities to suit their sexual choices – and destroying the very “essence of the human creature” in the process.
Benedict XVI made the comments in his annual Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy, one of his most important speeches of the year. He dedicated it this year to promoting traditional family values in the face of vocal campaigns in France, the United States, Britain and elsewhere to legalize same-sex marriage.
It was the second time in a week that Benedict has taken on the question of gay marriage, which is dividing France, and which scored big electoral wins in the United States last month. In his recently released annual peace message, Benedict said gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, was a threat to world peace.
After the peace message was released last week, gay activists staged a small protest in St. Peter’s Square.
Church teaching holds that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” though it stresses that gays should be treated with compassion and dignity. As pope and as head of the Vatican’s orthodoxy watchdog before that, Benedict has been a strong enforcer of that teaching: One of the first major documents released during his pontificate said men with “deep-seated” homosexual tendencies shouldn’t be ordained priests.
For the Vatican, though, the gay marriage issue goes beyond questions of homosexuality, threatening what the church considers to be the bedrock of society: a family based on a man, woman and their children.
In his speech, the pope…said God had created man and woman as a specific “duality” – “an essential aspect of what being human is all about.”
Now, though, “Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his own nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will.”
The Vatican’s opposition to gay marriage has been falling largely on deaf ears. Under then-Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the largely Roman Catholic Spain legalized gay marriage. Three U.S. states approved same-sex marriage by popular vote in November elections. Earlier this month, the British government announced it will introduce a bill next year legalizing gay marriage, though it would ban the Church of England from conducting same-sex ceremonies.
In France, President Francois Hollande has said he would enact his “marriage for everyone” plan within a year of taking office last May. The text will go to parliament next month. But the country has been divided by vocal opposition from religious leaders.