The Pope on Monday gave a public warning to David Cameron that his plans for same-sex marriage will undermine the family.
Benedict XVI’s New Year’s Day message warned that the Coalition’s
reforms will reduce the status of marriage and harm the families that
are built around it.
He said that such moves by politicians are ‘an offence against the truth of the human person’.
In a message aimed at the Prime
Minister – who is not named – the Pope added that the cause of
preserving the institution should be supported by everyone concerned
about the family, whether or not they are Christian.
Pope warned there is ‘a need to acknowledge and promote the natural
structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of
attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types
He went further: ‘Such attempts
actually harm and help to destabilise marriage, obscuring its specific
nature and its indispensable role in society. No one should ignore or
underestimate the decisive role of the family, which is the basic cell
The Coalition’s plans are intended to permit same-sex couples to stage weddings in churches or at civil ceremonies.
The tough line from the Vatican
adds to strongly-worded objections voiced in recent days by Roman
Catholic leaders in Britain, including the Bishop of Shrewsbury the
Right Reverend Mark Davies and the Catholic leader in England and Wales
Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols.
Pope’s message is addressed to heads of state world-wide, but its line
on same-sex marriage is intended to add to the weight of criticism
against Mr Cameron’s plans in Britain.
It said principles behind
marriage ‘are common to all humanity’ and ‘the Church’s efforts to
promote them are... addressed to all people, whatever their religious
‘Efforts of this kind are all the more necessary the more these
principles are denied, since this constitutes an offence against the
truth of the human person.’