TESTING THE FAITH - Pope: Homosexuals destroy themselves
In his most powerful statements to date on issues involving sexual morality, Pope Benedict XVI said homosexuals end up destroying themselves so the Church has a duty to speak out on moral issues that affect the very spiritual and physical lives of man.
"In seeking to emancipate himself from his body (from the 'biological sphere'), [man] ends up by destroying himself," the pope told cardinals, archbishops, bishops and members of the Roman Curia last week in a traditional meeting overlooked by most of the world's press. "Against those who say that 'the Church should not involve herself in these matters,' we can only respond: does man not concern us too? The church and believers must raise their voices to defend man, the creature who, in the inseparable unity of body and spirit, is the image of God."
The pope also lamented low birth rates in Europe, saying couples no longer seem to want children. This fact, he said, has "penetrated my soul."
"Men and women today are unsure about the future," he explained. "This fact, alongside the desire to have all of life to themselves, is perhaps the most profound reason for which the risk of having children appears to many as almost unbearable. ... If we do not relearn the basic foundations of life – if we do not rediscover the certainty of faith – it will also be ever more difficult for us to give others the gift of life and the challenges of an unknown future."
The pope also referred to the controversy over same-sex marriage.
"At this point, I cannot fail to mention my concern over 'de facto' couples," he said. "When new legislation is created that relativizes marriage, the rejection of the definitive bond gains, so to speak, juridical endorsement. Relativizing the difference between the sexes ... tacitly confirms those bleak theories which seek to remove all relevance from a human being's masculinity or femininity, as if this were a purely biological matter."