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Papal envoy conciliatory on gay relationships

The papal nuncio in Spain has said that while marriage must always be the union of a man and a woman, "there are other forms of cohabitation and it is good that they be recognised".

"They are not the same as marriage," said Monsignor Manuel Monteiro de Castro. "We will leave the term marriage for that which it has always referred to, and other arrangements should be given other names."

"The new political situation in which we are living in Spain sets new challenges in the spreading of the gospel and we must meet those challenges in an appropriate manner."

The nuncio said gay couples should be given access to certain civil rights, including those within the social security system. He added: "The church can also help them in their spiritual life."

The nuncio's insistence that marriage must involve a man and a woman notwithstanding, a report from The Guardian, also published in The Age today, describes the nuncio's expression of such views as a "break" from the Vatican.

Papal envoy breaks ranks on gay couples (The Guardian 5/5/04)

George Pell: The case against gay marriage (The Australian 4/5/04)

6 May 2004