Activists criticise Pope for anti-gay remarks
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.
Subject: German news