Pope Benedict XVI has called on U.S.
bishops to oppose the legalization of gay marriage, the AFP reported.
In a speech in Rome on Friday to
bishops from the United States, Pope Benedict denounced the “powerful
political and cultural currents” seeking to make gay marriage legal
in the United States. The Holy Father is speaking out after
lawmakers in three states – Maryland, New Jersey and Washington –
approved gay marriage bills. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
rejected his state's bill, and laws in the other two states are
expected to be challenged this fall at the ballot box.
“Sexual differences cannot be
dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage,” he said.
He added that the traditional family
and the church's definition of marriage had to be “defended from
every possible misrepresentation of their true nature.”
“In this regard, particular mention
must be made of the powerful political and cultural currents seeking
to alter the legal definition of marriage.”
“The contemporary crisis of marriage
and the family … has led to grave societal problems bearing an
immense human and economic cost,” he added.
Benedict has previously spoken out
against the increasing acceptance of gay nuptials in Europe.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that
gay sex is sinful, but identifying as gay or lesbian is not.