Pope John Paul on Saturday condemned same-sex marriage as an attack on the fabric of society and called on Catholics to combat what he said is an aggressive attempt to legally undermine the family. "Attacks on marriage and the family, from an ideological and legal aspect, are becoming stronger and more radical every day," the 84-year old pontiff said in the unusually strong statement. "Who destroys this fundamental fabric causes a profound injury to society and provokes often irreparable damage."
The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between a man and a women is sacred and that homosexuality is a sin. That stance has been under pressure among some of its core constituencies, including the United States and Spain, where the socialist government in October approved a controversial draft law to legalize gay unions.
The pope also condemned abortion, artificial procreation, and an equal status for cohabiting couples as undermining the marital state. "These things that are presented as civilized progress or scientific conquests, in many cases, are in fact a defeat for the dignity of human life and for society," his statement read.