Pope renews anti-gay attack

Pope renews anti-gay attack

Pope Benedict XVI has renewed his attack on gays and lesbians, using an end-of-year speech to deride same-sex marriage as ruinous.

The ultra-conservative pontiff said gay marriage was a threat to human identity and decried laws recognising de facto couples.

His comments came as Italy’s left-leaning government considers increasing the rights of unmarried partners, Reuters reported.

I cannot hide my concern about legislation on de facto couples, the pope said.

About a month after South Africa legalised gay marriage, the pontiff said allowing same-sex couples to wed would undermine human identity.

Joining a man and a woman -¦ two people of the same sex becomes the same, he said.

With that, the ominous theories that deny any relevance to the human person’s masculinity and femininity are tacitly confirmed.

But in the same speech, the pope called for tolerance of others, Associated Press reported.

Referring to the violence in the Middle East and other conflicts, he said, We must learn that peace can exist only if hate and selfishness are overcome from the inside.

Pope Benedict has been a strident opponent of gay rights since taking power in 2005.

As Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, he was also the author of a notorious 1986 Vatican text that called homosexuality an intrinsic moral evil.

In 1992 he wrote to US bishops in support of anti-gay discrimination in schools, the military and other areas.

Pope Benedict’s Christmas speech came as two Italian politicians placed four dolls symbolising same-sex couples in the official nativity display in the country’s parliament.

The move, designed to encourage legal recognition of unmarried couples and the introduction of gay marriage, angered other parliamentarians.

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