Not far from where the Pope offered his weekly prayers, a small group of protestors objected to his antigay version of "peace" and generated headlines worldwide.
The group of little more than 15 activists, according to the AAP, were reacting to Pope Benedict's annual message on Friday issued for the World Day of Peace that this time included same-sex marriage among a list of threats to peace. The group held signs reading "Talk About Love" and "Homophobia = Death," among others.
Not only does the AAP report that the group was blocked from getting into St. Peter's Square, where thousands gathered for Advent celebrations and to hear the Pope speak, but also the Associated Press reports that some of the placards were confiscated by police.
"Gay unions don't harm peace. Weapons do," was among the central message of the group's signs, according to Reuters, which also reported on the protest. The AAP, AP and Reuters news agencies sent the story and photographs to numerous outlets worldwide because they are relied on by so many other news organizations.
The World Day of Peace is celebrated by Catholics on New Year's Day. The Pope included same-sex marriage among a list of barriers to peace. He called marriage between a man and a woman the "natural structure" and seemed to claim that letting gays and lesbians get married violates human nature.
He wrote, "There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society."
After railing against abortion and marriage equality, he said what the other side pursues is "an offence against the truth of the human person."
"These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom," he wrote. "They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity."
The Catholic Church in the United States has put money into backing its beliefs, having spent $2 million fighting marriage equality in four states this election cycle.
Meanwhile, American Catholics are moving further away from Pope Benedict on the issue. A new Quinnipiac University poll released this month found that among white Catholics, support for marriage equality is at 49%, with 43% opposed.