Pope: Abortion, Divorce, Homosexual Unions “are evident signs of de-Christianization”

Tue Nov 7, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

*** Please note that the Vatican Press Office has indicated that the speech it released in the name of Pope Benedict XVI, reported on below, was in fact a speech by Pope John Paul II which was not delivered. Pope Benedict’s remarks to the Swiss bishops are to be published tomorrow.

By John-Henry Westen

VATICAN CITY, November 7, 2006 ( - In a meeting this morning with Swiss Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of “the advance of secularization and of relativism.” Beyond a drop in Sunday Mass attendance, he said, these trends mean “that the moral values proposed by the Church are put in doubt.”

He referred to the crisis of marriage and the family, the increase in divorce and abortions, and unions between people of the same sex, all of which, he said, “are evident signs of de-Christianization.”

After highlighting the fact that many people live “as if God does not exist,” the Pope called upon the prelates “to ensure that the Word of God and the Christian message are understood,” and insisted they should adopt unanimous positions on theological and moral questions. “The fundamental duty of the bishop, pastor, and master of faith,” he recalled, “is to invite the faithful to a full acceptance of Church teaching.”

See the full address (in German):

(with files from the Vatican Information Service)

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