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Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage non-negotiable, stresses Pope

March 13, 2007:

Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVII has re-affirmed the Catholic Church’s rule of celibacy for priests and described the Church’s opposition to gay marriage as “non-negotiable”.

The Pope also stressed that Catholic politicians have a moral duty to oppose laws favouring gay marriage as well as laws on abortion and euthanasia.

The Pope’s preaching are contained in a 140-page booklet issued on March 13, 2007, on the workings of a synod that took place at the Vatican in 2005 on the theme of the Eucharist.

In the document, named Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Benedict says that all believers have to defend what he calls the fundamental values but that the duty is “especially incumbent” on those in positions of power.

The Pope said these included “respect for human life, its defence from conception to natural death, the family built on marriage between a man and a woman, the freedom to educate one’s children, and the promotion of the common good in all its forms.”

“These values are not negotiable,” the Pope stressed.

“Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of their grave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on the basis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce laws inspired by values grounded in human nature,” the Pope said.

Gay marriage is legal in several European countries, including the Catholic-predominant Spain.

Italy is at present severely divided over the issue of whether or not to give more rights to unmarried couples, including homosexuals.

The Pope’s words in the document are also applicable to countries such as the United States, where some Catholic politicians have said they are personally opposed to abortion but felt bound to support pro-choice legislation because they represent many people.

Some bishops in the United States have refused to give Communion to Catholic politicians who back abortion rights.



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