Pope Benedict Denounces Same-Sex Union, Abortion & Embryo Research

At a conference of the Diocese of Rome regarding the role of the family held at St John Lateran basilica on Monday, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s stern opposition to same-sex union, abortion and embryo research.

Homosexual marriage has been overwhelmingly adopted by many countries in the world, especially in the US, Canada and Europe. In the wake of the slippery slope over family ethical values, Pope Benedict XVI has repeatedly defended marriage as a divine union between man and woman, based on biblical teachings.

While gay marriage supporters use basic human rights and civil rights as a major argument for the legalisation of same-sex union, the Pope sharply described such marriage as "pseudo-matrimony" and "expression of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man".

He also condemned other various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today such as free unions and trial marriages.

The Pope said matrimony was not just a "casual sociological construction" that changed in certain times in history, but rather an institution that had its roots "in the most profound essence of the human being", according to the Associated Press.

The Pope also spoke about abortion and embryo research, which are very sensitive issues prior to Italy voting in a referendum aimed at relaxing the country's stringent restrictions on fertility treatment.

Children are the fruit of marriage and reflects God’s love for man, according to Pope Benedict. He condemned "terminating or manipulating life".

Pope Benedict called for Christians to publicly reaffirm the "intangibility of human life from conception to its natural end." The phrase in defence of life "from conception to natural death" refers to the Church’s bans on abortion and euthanasia in the Vatican’s teaching.