Activists criticise Pope for anti-gay remarks

7th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 June 2005, ROME - Gay activists in Italy and Germany on Tuesday strongly criticised Pope Benedict XVI after the recently-elected head of the Roman Catholic Church condemned same-sex unions as fake and a threat to the future of the family.

7 June 2005

ROME - Gay activists in Italy and Germany on Tuesday strongly criticised Pope Benedict XVI after the recently-elected head of the Roman Catholic Church condemned same-sex unions as fake and a threat to the future of the family.

In Berlin, the German Association of Gay and Lesbians said the pontiff had shown a lack of respect bordering on "hatred" towards homosexuals.

In Rome, Franco Grillini, a left-wing lawmaker and leading gay activist, said he had been "strongly disappointed" by the pope's "violent lecturing".

"The Catholic Church should preach universal love. Instead, we see it entrenched in a fortress intent on defending an idea of family, sexuality and relationships between people that is made up of sadness and prohibition," Grillini said in a statement.

The reactions followed remarks made by the 78-year-old pontiff on Monday.

Addressing families gathered at Rome's St. John's Cathedral, the pope spoke of "the pseudo-matrimonies between people of the same sex" as "expressions of anarchic freedom which falsely tries to pass itself off as the true liberation of man".

German-born Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected pope last April, had already expressed strongly conservative views on homosexuality with a 2003 document he wrote while he was still a cardinal heading the Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog.

Gay marriages are legal in several European countries, but not in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy.

DPA

Subject: German news

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