If Pope Benedict's Christmas speeches are of any indication, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Vatican has stepped up its assault on same-sex marriage. Speaking at his yearly address to Vatican officials, the Pope spoke out against marriage equality, saying that it's destroying the very foundations of the family and what it means to be human. The Pope also used the opportunity to express his willingness in working with other faiths who are similarly opposed to gay marriage.
In his speech, the Pope denounced people who he feels are manipulating their God-given identities to suit their sexual choices — what he says is destroying the very "essence of the human creature." He said:
People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man's fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.
He also argued that the trend towards marriage equalization is a "crisis that threatens [the family] to its foundations — especially in the Western world. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child — essential elements of the experience of being human are lost."
During his speech, Benedict cited the work of the Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, who has argued that the campaign for granting gays the right to marry and adopt children is an "attack" on the traditional family. Bernheim's study, "Gay Marriage, Parenthood and Adoption: What We Often Forget to Say," contends that efforts to legalize same-sex marriage are being made for "the exclusive profit of a tiny minority" and are often supported on account of political correctness.
And in another example of the Catholic Church's increased emphasis on fighting gay marriage, the Vatican's newspaper L'Osservatore Romano recently described proponents of marriage equalization to 20th century communists. Gay marriage, said the newspaper, is a product of the same "egalitarian utopia that did so much damage during the 20th century... deceiving humanity as socialism did in the past."
Comparing same-sex marriage to communism is very telling indeed. Given Pope John Paul II's tireless efforts to fight communism in all its forms during his tenure, it would appear that the Catholic Church has found a new cause in these early parts of the 21st century.