Vatican City, Sep 5, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Speaking on Saturday to Canada's new ambassador to the Holy See, Donald Smith, Pope John Paul II insisted - in the light of recent developments in Canadian marriage law in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage - on the "necessary complementarity" of men and women in the institution of marriage for the survival of culture and society.
The Pope began his speech by recalling his visits to Canada, "especially the joyous occasion of World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto," and noted "Canada's generous and practical contributions to the building of a world of peace, justice and prosperity” such as “involvement in peace-keeping missions and the production of low-cost medicines for poorer nations" which are “widely recognized by the international community.”
“Indeed, solidarity with developing nations…spring from values and convictions which have shaped Canadian society throughout its history and upon which all authentic social progress depends," said the Holy Father.
The Pope praised "Canada's openness to migration” which brings “increasing diversity and a great richness to your culture, fostering mutual accommodation and respect between ethnic groups,” as an illustration for other nations “that the respect due to every person is rooted in the common origin of all men and women, rather than in the fact of differences between peoples.”