On Friday, Pope Francis issued his strongest condemnation of same-sex marriage to date during his visit to the predominantly Catholic Philippines in yet another knock to liberals still idolizing Pope Francis as the Pontiff of “hope” and “change.”
Speaking at Mass in Manila’s Cathedral and a meeting with families in the city’s Mall of Asia Arena, the Holy Father said “The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage” and warned people not to be “tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family.”
Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi later confirmed with Catholic News Service that the Pope had been referring to same-sex marriage among other distortions to both marriage and the family.
“As you know, these realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture,” he said. “[resist] ideological colonization that threatens the family”
These comments from the Pope are consistent with comments he made in the past while Pope and as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jose Maria Bergoglio. Speaking before an audience from the international Marian movement in October, the Holy Father said “the family is being bastardized” and decried “new forms of unions which are totally destructive and limiting the greatness of the love of marriage.” His comments came only a few weeks before he exclaimed, “children have the right to a mother and father” at the Vatican-sponsored “Complementarity of Man and Women” colloquium in November.
Further departing from the media’s liberal perception of him, Pope Francis also gave homage to Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, the famous encyclical in the 1960’s that prohibited all forms of contraception, exempting natural family planning. Deemed one of the most controversial moments in Catholic history, the encyclical became one of the biggest cause for dissent within the church and continues to be the biggest dividing line between faithful Catholics and nominal Catholics. Regarding Pope Paul VI, Pope Francis said the following:
I think of Blessed Paul VI in the moment of that challenge of population growth, he had the strength to defend openness to life. He knew the difficulties families experience and that’s why in his encyclical (Humanae Vitae) he expressed compassion for specific cases and he taught professors to be particularly compassionate for particular cases. And he went further, he looked at the people on the earth and he saw that lack (of children) and the problem it could cause families in the future. Paul VI was courageous, a good pastor, and he warned his sheep about the wolves that were approaching. And from the heavens he blesses us today.