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Pope Denounces Gay Marriage to U.S. Bishops

by Nicole Winfield
Saturday Mar 10, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI waded deep into U.S. campaign politics Friday, urging visiting U.S. bishops to beef up their teaching about the evils of premarital sex and cohabitation, and denouncing what he called the "powerful" gay marriage lobby in America.

As debate over health care coverage for birth control rages in the United States, Benedict said there was an urgent need for Catholics in America to discover the value of chastity - an essential element of Christian teaching that he said had been subject to unjust "ridicule."

Benedict has long championed traditional marriage between man and woman, as well as opposition to premarital sex and fidelity within marriage. But his strong comments to visiting U.S. bishops took on particular significance given the culture wars that have erupted in the U.S. this campaign season.

U.S. bishops are currently locked in an election year battle with the Obama administration over federal funding for birth control.

In addition, bishops have been at the forefront of the campaign against same-sex marriage, with at least five U.S. states scheduling ballot measures on the issue in coming months. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the head of the U.S. conference of bishops and archbishop of New York, unsuccessfully lobbied against the legalization of gay marriage in his state.

The 84-year-old pope acknowledged his comments might sound anachronistic or "countercultural," particularly to the young. But he told bishops to not back down in the face of "powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage."

"Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage," he said.

He also denounced what he called the failure of priests and bishops to instruct Catholics in core church teachings on human sexuality, saying many Catholics seem unaware that living together outside of marriage was "gravely sinful, not to mention damaging to the stability of society."

The entire Christian community, he said, must recover an appreciation of the virtue of chastity.

"Young people need to encounter the church's teaching in all its integrity, challenging and countercultural as that teaching may be; more importantly they need to see it embodied by faithful married couples who bear convincing witness to truth," he said.

Benedict said a weakened appreciation for traditional marriage and the widespread rejection of responsible sexuality had led to "grave social problems bearing an immense human and economic cost." He didn't elaborate on what the cost was.

Groups of visiting U.S. bishops have been traveling to Rome for the past several months as part of bishops' regular once-every-five-year visits with the pope and senior Vatican officials.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  • , 2012-03-10 12:23:12

    Hey Fuck you CEO of the catholic church. Why don’t you denounce all your pedophile priests? How about denouncing how the vatican turned a blind eye to the holocaust ?Leave the alter boys alone and go fuck yourself for a change. And Stay out of US politics. Better yet, stay in and lets pull every single catholic church’s tax exempt status.

  • KB20, 2012-03-10 18:05:09

    "quickly! our power over the people is waning! strike more fear and hatred into the heads of children and further into the adults to keep our reign the highest and strongest!" - the pope

  • , 2012-03-10 21:21:38

    This is Why I left the catholic church. As a matter of fact POPE SHIT HEAD. The economy grows because of the gay community and same sex marriage adds even more. I catholic church I went to in Ottawa Ontario Canada was very open loved the priest & People could you longer keep supporting the church as a Whole. Bob

  • fleebness, 2012-03-11 07:04:52

    Yeah, loving, concerned people like this guy turned me off of Christianity a long time ago. Some great art and music, though. Maybe they should focus more on that instead of trying to make life hard for minority groups. Especially when their own hands are very dirty.

  • , 2012-03-11 08:06:26

    Marriage is not about religion. Marriage is a state and/or federal contract between two people and the government that says we two people are an entity. That’s why you need a marriage LICENSE from the state. the church doesn’t require a license; just like it doesn’t requires it’s pedophile priests to be defrocked. The only thing the church fears is losing $$$ to their coffers. And pissing off the gays are one way to cut financial ties with an entire population of people. It’s so funny how all thes religious morons spout on about even walking the earth. What they don’t see is that they are talking about themselves. They hate and hurt people all in the name of Christ, and yet he did nothing like that. Nor did the Good Lord stockpile weapons for the rapture. If these idiots are SO religious and sure of their piety then why do they need weapons for the unrest during the rapture? Won’t the be plucked off the earth and sent right up to heaven?Hmm, maybe they are not so secure in their faith. And you think God doesn’t know that too?

  • , 2012-03-11 11:09:16

    You know the catholic church is to religion what Mitt Romney is to the common man - completely detached and out of touch. Jesus never said amass vast fortunes (the vatican) and use wealth to control politics and world opinion. It was Paul who wrote the letters changing the way the church functions in Jesus’ absence. So really, the catholic church worships Paul. And Jesus never wore the equivalent of Prada slippers. Jesus was never unkind or uncharitable. He never shot anybody. He certainly never advocated hated an intolerance. And I’m quite certain Jesus would b appalled at what moronic bullshit is carried out in his name.

  • , 2012-03-11 22:14:00

    This is why kids are bullied so much, the church is in a indirect way telling parents to teach thier kids its wrong. If thats your believe preach it at church not to the world.

  • , 2012-03-13 11:54:44

    Why hasn’t the pope condemned Priest sexually molesting children as "gravely sinful!!" I never heard that from him. He tells the bishop to be sexually responsible. EXCUSE ME! Most of the priest are not and have not been sexually responsible. No wonder everyone is leaving the Catholic church. His attitude is "gravely sinful" toward the people of God!!! Does he forget that all humans are made in the image of God! and unresponsible!

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