Thursday November 11, 2010

Family under Attack by New Ideologies that “Trivialize the Human Body”: Pope Benedict

By Hilary White

ROME, November 11, 2010 ( – The family is under sustained attack from new ideologies that “trivialize the human body,” and distort the purpose and meaning of marriage, Pope Benedict XVI said in a document released by the Vatican today.

In the document, called an Apostolic Exhortation, Benedict wrote that “In the face of widespread confusion … and the rise of ways of thinking which trivialize the human body and sexual differentiation, the word of God re-affirms the original goodness of the human being, created as man and woman and called to a love which is faithful, reciprocal and fruitful.”

The objective reality of marriage being between one man and one woman, he said, was codified by Christ Himself, who elevated “to the dignity of a sacrament what was inscribed in human nature from the beginning.”

The pope identified “the essential responsibility of parents towards their children,” of “authentic parenthood,” being “to pass on and bear witness to the meaning of life.”

“[T]through their fidelity and the unity of family life, spouses are the first to proclaim God’s word to their children.”

These comments echo recent statements by Pope Benedict on his visit to Spain last weekend, where he said that the Church “resists every form of denial of human life and gives its support to everything that would promote the natural order in the sphere of the institution of the family.”

John Smeaton, director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said that the pope’s statements defending the natural family and the responsibility of parents “are yet further major indications” that the policy of cooperation by the Catholic bishops of England and Wales with government in its sex education plans “seriously deviates from Catholic teaching.”

Smeaton was referring to the work of the English bishops’ education service who helped to draft a sex-ed plan for the previous Labour party government. The guidelines would have required schools, including religious schools, to teach children how to obtain abortions and artificial contraceptives, and to be taught that homosexuality is “normal and harmless.”

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