Benedict XVI dedicated one of his most important public addresses of the year to the theme of the family which he said was under “attack” and “in crisis”.
In his annual Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy he said that moves are afoot which he said attempted to question “the very notion of what being human really means”.
In his most outspoken comments on the subject yet, he denounced what he described as people manipulating their God-given identities to suit their own sexual “choices”.
And he also criticised parents who he said too often view children as “an object to which people have a right” rather than a gift.
It is the second time in a week in which the Pope has spoken against gay marriage which is now central plank of political programmes in the UK, France and a string of US states.