|Vatican||POPE INSISTS ON CATHOLIC OPPOSITION TO GAY MARRIAGES|
Pope John Paul II reaffirmed the Church's teaching against gay marriages, on Thursday, saying that only a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman could form the basis of a family.
"Attempts to define the family as something other than a solemnized lifelong union of man and woman which looks to the birth and nurture of children are bound to prove destructive," the pope said.
He also reaffirmed the church's stand against abortion and euthanasia, saying the assumption that both were rights that should be protected by law was a contradiction of human dignity.
He said the church's defence of the traditional family was "not a matter of attachment to a bygone cultural model which refuses to face facts."
In a speech to New Zealand's new ambassador to the Vatican, the pope said the church's position was based "precisely on a recognition of a fundamental truth."
That was that the family is the fundamental cell of society and a traditional family was the best place for children to learn the skills required for life. He suggested new forms of family structures were weaker and less stable.
|29 May 00|