During a press conference on Thursday to present Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for the World Day of Peace 2009, the Director of the Holy See’s 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 L’Osservatore Romano, in response to a question about the Holy See’s position on a French proposal to “decriminalize” homosexuality worldwide, Father Lombardi said, “I don’t think the document has been presented and I don’t think it will be presented for a vote at the next U.N. Assembly. So I don’t think there’s a point in creating a controversy about a text the contents of which are not yet officially known.”
“However,” he continued, “the position expressed by Archbishop Celestino Migliore (the Holy See’s 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 Church’s 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.”
Father Lombardi went on to state that the Catholic Church does not accept discrimination against homosexuals. However, he clarified, “she 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.” An example of this, he added, is that of marriage: “marriage between one man and one woman is what the Church upholds, and she doesn’t accept putting relations between persons of the same sex on the same level.”
Father Lombardi also took the opportunity to criticize the media for often twisting and manipulating the Pope’s words when he points out some issue of importance. “I don’t think this is exact or fair behavior,” he said.