Pope Tells Nations He is Upset by Attack on One Man, One Woman Marriage

By Peter J. Smith

VATICAN CITY, January 7, 2008 ( - Pope Benedict XVI told the nations of the world he was disturbed by the attacks on the family and traditional marriage saying it was the duty of politicians to defend the integrity of these institutions. The Pope made his statements in an annual "state of the world" address before the assembled members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See at the Salia Regia in the Vatican to convey the Church’s pressing concerns for the world.

"I regret, once again, the disturbing threats to the integrity of the family, founded on the marriage of a man and a woman," Benedict said. "Political leaders, of whatever kind, should defend this fundamental institution, the basic cell of society".

Benedict’s words were very much directed toward western nations, but especially Europe where the legalisation of "gay" marriage and pseudo-marriage alternatives have come part-in-parcel with the de-Christianisation of Europe. The Pope told ambassadors that he is "following attentively the new phase which began with the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon." However the Pope warned that the new "European home … will be a good place to live for everyone only if it is built on a solid cultural and moral foundation of common values drawn from our history and our traditions" and if it preserves its Christian origins.

The defence of marriage is a top priority of Benedict XVI’s papacy and in last year’s address to ambassadors the Pope recognized threats to the traditional family as equal to those against life itself. "Attempts to relativise" marriage, he said, "by giving it the same status as other radically different forms of union… offends and helps to destabilise the family."

The Pope concluded his address by reminding diplomats that their mission is in a sense "the art of hope."

"[Diplomacy] lives from hope and seeks to discern even its most tenuous signs. Diplomacy must give hope," the Pope said. "May God open the hearts of those who govern the family of peoples to the Hope that never disappoints!"

The Vatican currently maintains diplomatic relations with 176 States as well as the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (Knights of Malta). The Holy See also maintains relations of a special nature with Russia. The Vatican has arguably the oldest diplomatic organisation in the world with roots in the first centuries of post-Roman European society.
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