Pope attacks global gay marriages trend
December 29, 2003
VATICAN CITY — Pressing his campaign against gay unions, Pope John Paul II lamented Sunday what he called the "misunderstood" sense of rights that was altering the true sense of marriage and family these days.
In his traditional Sunday greeting, John Paul called for increased support from all those who believe "in the importance of the family based on matrimony," which he said was a "human and
divine" gift that should be defended by society.
The Vatican defines matrimony as a divine union between man and woman, and in July it launched a global campaign to stem the tide of widening legal recognition for same-sex marriages.
A document from the Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog, the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said Catholic
politicians had a "moral duty" to oppose laws granting legal rights
to gay couples, and that non-Catholics should follow their lead
since the issue concerns "natural moral law."
John Paul raised the issue Sunday, noting that Christmas was a
time to remember the "holy family" of Mary, Joseph and Jesus, whose
birth is celebrated by the church on Dec. 25.
"In our times, a misunderstood sense of rights has sometimes
disturbed the nature of the family institution and conjugal bond
itself," John Paul said. "It is necessary that at every level, the
efforts of those who believe in the importance of the family based
on matrimony unite."
Marriage, he added, "concerns a human and divine reality that is
defended and promoted as a fundamental good of society."
John Paul has been a staunch promoter of the institution of
marriage, as well as of the family. He strongly opposes abortion as
well as artificial birth control.
The Vatican's opposition to condoms recently came under renewed
fire after a top cardinal, Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, said condoms
don't protect against AIDS. The U.N. World Health Organization,
among other groups, called his comments "dangerous" and "totally
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