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Pope again defends traditional family, says marriage of man and woman is indissoluble bond

Pope again defends traditional family, says marriage of man and woman is indissoluble bond

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday reiterated his defense of the traditional family, saying real marriage is only between man and woman and that such a union is indissoluble.
The remarks to a Vatican tribunal were the latest by Benedict on the issue, as the pontiff keeps up a campaign against unmarried couples and same-sex unions.
The pope warned against what he said was a "cultural context marked by relativism" and against any views of marriage as merely a legal union "that human will could manipulate as it pleases, even depriving it of its heterosexual nature."
"Each marriage is certainly the fruit of free consent between man and woman," the pope said in an audience at the Vatican marking the beginning of the judiciary year.
He added: "The union occurs because of the design by God, who has created them male and female and gives them the power to unite those natural and complementary dimensions forever."
The pope went on to say the bond is indissoluble because "it is so in the design of creation."
The Vatican opposes divorce and other challenges to church doctrine that have become increasingly common in Europe and elsewhere.
It allows annulment, a process by which the Church effectively declares that a marriage never took place, leaving faithful free to remarry and receive Communion.
In his remarks Saturday, the pope appealed to the Roman Rota _ the annulment-deciding tribunal _ not to grant annulments too easily and be alert against the risk of relativism.
There are a little more than 1,000 cases _ mostly annulments _ pending before the Roman Rota at the beginning of the year, top tribunal official Monsignor Antoni Stankiewicz said. Of those, the majority comes from Europe (687) and from North, Central and South America (413).
Circumstances for granting annulments include refusal by a husband or a wife to have children or the psychological incapability of one of the spouses to contract a valid marriage.
Benedict has condemned same-sex unions as anarchic "pseudo-matrimony," and has launched a campaign for the protection of families based on marriage between a man and a woman. The Vatican also has consistently criticized movements in Italy and other countries that call for granting legal rights to unmarried couples.
Last year, the Pontifical Council for the Family issued a document in which it said that the traditional family has never been so threatened as in today's world.
The pope's speech Saturday angered leading Italian gay rights activist Franco Grillini, a leftist lawmaker, who said "the Vatican and the ecclesiastical hierarchy represent the main obstacle to the country's modernization." Italy's center-left government has vowed to introduce legal recognition for unmarried couples.


Updated : 2021-06-14 09:48 GMT+08:00