Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the
Roman Catholic Church, on Friday criticized gay marriage.
In his annual Christmas address given
at the Vatican, Benedict denounced such unions as a manipulation of
sexual identity, the AP reported. The pope also dedicated the coming
year to promoting family values.
“People dispute the idea that they
have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as
a defining element of the human being,” the Holy Father said in one of
his most important speeches of the year. “They deny their nature
and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but
that they make it for themselves.”
“The manipulation of nature, which we
deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man's
fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.”
Benedict and the Vatican have increased
their opposition as predominantly Catholic France debates the issue
of gay nuptials.
criticizes French Catholic magazine's gay marriage endorsement.)
Last week, in his message for the
January 1 World Day of Peace, Benedict said that marriage equality
threatens justice and peace. The comments prompted a
small group of activists to protest the pope's views.