Monday September 13, 2010

Pope: Church Must Reject All ‘Alternative Models of Family Life’

Encourages Christians to reinforce faith as foundation for culture

By Kathleen Gilbert

VATICAN CITY, September 13, 2010 ( – All legal recognition of “alternative” means of pursuing a family life, such as homosexual “marriage” and civil union laws, threatens to undermine the true model of marriage as the permanent bond of one man and one woman for the procreation of children, said Pope Benedict XVI on Monday.

The pontiff said that “the Church sees with concern the growing attempt to eliminate the Christian concept of marriage and family from the consciousness of society.”

“The Church can not approve legislative initiatives involving a reappraisal of alternative models of married life and family. They contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law and so the relativization of all legislation and also the confusion about values in society,” said the pontiff in an address to the new German ambassador to the Holy See.

The pope said that, “Marriage is manifested as a lasting union of love between a man and a woman, which is also always oriented toward the transmission of human life,” noting that such a bond “requires a certain maturity of the person and a fundamental social and existential attitude.”

Benedict also took the occasion to exalt the centrality of human life, particularly frail and dependent human life, as something that “always has priority over anything else.” “When once we begin to distinguish – and often this happens already in the womb – between life worthy and unworthy to live, any other stage of life will not be spared, much less the elderly and the infirm,” he said.

The pontiff also criticized Christians who, rather than becoming “guarantors” of the faith “without compromise,” “tend to show an overriding inclination towards more permissive religious convictions.” For example, those who replace the personal, moral Christian God with a mysterious “supreme being” render null the conflict between good and evil, and so rob society of the impetus to constantly pursue the good: “If God does not have His own will, then good and bad end up being indistinguishable. … Man thus loses the moral and spiritual energy necessary for the overall development of the person,” he said.

As new relationships are developing in recent times between church and state, said Benedict, it is incumbent upon Christians to “follow this development in a positive and critical way, as well as to refine men’s senses for the fundamental and continuing importance of Christianity in laying the groundwork to form the structures of our culture.”

Click here for the original text (in Italian).

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