VATICAN, March 26, 2004 ( – In an address to the Bishops of Australia today, Pope John Paul II thanked the Bishops for their defence of marriage and family.  Led by Cardinal George Pell, Australian Bishops gave strong backing to the Vatican’s recent document on homosexual unions which received cold reception even by some Catholic bishops around the world.

Rather than distance himself from the Vatican’s strong statement on homosexual unions, Sydney’s Cardinal Pell defended its application not only for Catholics but for all people.  He said: “One does not need to have any particular religion to recognise this, or that the family based on marriage is the best way to bring up happy, productive children.  These are arguments from reason, supported by both the Christian and Jewish traditions going back at least 3000 years. It is the strange proposal to legalise homosexual unions which is the novelty   “It is the Bishop’s particular task to ensure that within civil society – including the media and entertainment industry sectors – the values of marriage and family life are supported and defended,” the Pope told the Bishops today.  See the full address at:


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