Catholics cannot accept gay marriage, pope says

Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:10pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Philip Pullella and Sarah Marsh

FREIBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Saturday the Catholic Church could not accept gay marriage and urged young people to root out evil in society and shun a "lukewarm" faith that damages their Church.

The 84-year-old pope ended the third day in his homeland with a rally for more about 30,000 young people at a fairground outside the southern city of Freiburg, a Catholic area where he received the warmest welcome of his trip so far.

"The world in which we live, in spite of its technical progress, does not seem to be getting any better," he told the young people. "There is still war and terror, hunger and disease, bitter poverty and merciless oppression."

He urged them to root out all forms of evil in society and not to be "lukewarm Christians," saying that lack of commitment to faith did more damage to their Church than its sworn enemies.

Young people in the crowd cheered as he spoke.

"The Church is shown very negatively in the media these days so it is important for us young people to see we can also be proud of the Church, and the Church itself is not bad even if some people have let it down," said Kathrin Doerr, 26, who attended the youth rally.

Earlier, at a meeting with Orthodox Christian leaders, Benedict spoke out against abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage.

"We as Christians attach great importance to defending the integrity and the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman from any kind of misinterpretation," he said.   Continued...

 
<p>Pope Benedict XVI waves to wellwishers as he arrives in his Popemobile at the Freiburger Cathedral (Freiburg Minster) in the southwest German town of Freiburg September 24, 2011. REUTERS/Daniel Roland/Pool</p>