18 Nov

Pope Francis declares union between man and woman ‘at root of marriage’

.The Independ

Pope Francis addresses the participants of the International Seminar on the complementarity between men and women at the Vatican on 17 November 2014 AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis declares union between man and woman ‘at root of marriage’ in blow to gay rights

Pope who once said ‘who am I to judge gay people’ appears now to draw line at same-sex unions

Pope Francis  has apparently spoken out in defence of marriage as an institution between a man and a woman, hurting the hopes of those who see him as a liberal driving force in the Catholic Church.

Last month the Pope warned Catholics not to fear change following an angry synod backlash against a softening of the Church’s stance towards homosexuality.

But in his address at the opening of a three-day conference on traditional marriage hosted at the Vatican yesterday, Francis called family “an anthropological fact… that cannot be qualified based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history”.

The Humanum conference invites people of different religions to come together and celebrate “complementarity between man and woman in marriage” – the idea that men and women have different but complementary roles that they say are essential to building a strong family.

And though he did not refer to gay unions directly, the Pope said: “It is fitting that you have gathered here to explore the complementarity of man and woman. This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family.”

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