Pope Benedict XVI on Friday called on
Roman Catholics in France to “defend marriage.”
The Socialist government of President
Francois Hollande is preparing to introduce legislation which would
legalize gay marriage in the nation. Socialists recently won control
of parliament, making passage of the legislation highly likely.
Benedict said he believes such unions
“The family is threatened by a
conception of human nature that is proven to be defective,”
told a group of French bishops visiting Castel Gandolfo, the
pope's summer residence located on the outskirts of Rome. “Marriage
and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended
from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since
whatever is harmful to them will in fact be injurious to society
Benedict has previously opposed
marriage equality in other parts of the world, including
predominantly Catholic Spain and Argentina.
According to a recent poll, 65 percent
of French people support giving gay and lesbian couples the right to
marry. The government is expected to unveil its bill to the French
cabinet on October 31.