.- During a press conference on Thursday to present Pope Benedict XVIâs Message for the World Day of Peace 2009, the Director of the Holy Seeâs Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said the Church defends true marriage between one man and one woman and cannot accept placing homosexual unions on the same level.
According to LâOsservatore Romano, in response to a question about the Holy Seeâs position on a French proposal to âdecriminalizeâ homosexuality worldwide, Father Lombardi said, âI donât think the document has been presented and I donât think it will be presented for a vote at the next U.N. Assembly. So I donât think thereâs a point in creating a controversy about a text the contents of which are not yet officially known.â
âHowever,â he continued, âthe position expressed by Archbishop Celestino Migliore (the Holy Seeâs Permanent Observer at the U.N.) responding to a question by one of your colleagues was clear and worthy of being shared with the entire Church. He said that with respect to the Churchâs position on a law that penalizes homosexuals or establishes the death penalty, there is nothing to discuss: she is absolutely opposed. This is a position that respects the rights of the human person in his dignity.â
Father Lombardi went on to state that the Catholic Church does not accept discrimination against homosexuals. However, he clarified, âshe opposes the perspectives that lead some to say that sexual orientations should be placed on same level in all situations and in relation to all norms.â An example of this, he added, is that of marriage: âmarriage between one man and one woman is what the Church upholds, and she doesnât accept putting relations between persons of the same sex on the same level.â
Father Lombardi also took the opportunity to criticize the media for often twisting and manipulating the Popeâs words when he points out some issue of importance. âI donât think this is exact or fair behavior,â he said.