Pope calls marriage and childbirth essential to civilization

October 07, 2004

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II kept up his campaign against gay unions Wednesday, telling Spanish-speaking pilgrims that marriage and childbirth were essential to civilization.

The pope made his remarks in Spanish during his weekly general audience, five days after the Spanish government proposed legislation to allow homosexuals to marry and adopt children.

"We pray to the Lord for all spouses who are called to offer new life as a continuation of civilization and the history of salvation," John Paul said.

Last week, the Vatican's top official for family issues, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, attacked the proposal as a "sad step" in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. – Sapa-AP

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