Vatican briefing speaks about gay marriage following pope warning

Vatican spokesman speaks about the Catholic church’s position on gay marriage following Pope Francis’ warning against an “ideological colonisation of the family”, a reference to gay marriage around the world and to a heated debate in the Philippines about a government population control plan.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (JANUARY 16, 2015) (REUTERS) Pope Francis on Friday (January 16) warned against an “ideological colonisation of the family,” a reference to gay marriage around the world and to a heated debate in the Philippines about a government population control plan.

The pope made his impromptu comments at a rally for families in Manila on a day that began with an appeal to the government to tackle corruption and hear the cries of the poor suffering from “scandalous social inequalities” in Asia’s most Catholic country.

Speaking at a news conference in Manila later in the evening Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said:

“Well I think it is well known the perspective of the church on the family is that the family is based on the union of the marriage of a man and a woman. And a family is, for us, a union of a man and a woman, and children come from this union. This is for us the family. Then if there are persons who desire to have community in other ways, then they do, but this is not for us a family.”

Asked if the term “ideological colonisation” specifically referred to gay marriage, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, explained where he thought the term, used by the pope, had come from.

“In the synod of bishops last October, the extraordinary synod, there were some bishops and lay people especially from Africa, who said that foreign help or foreign aid extended to them often times is linked to some measures that the receiving country is somehow forced to accept. Some of those conditions for the aid seemed to be an acceptance or a welcoming of some views regarding marriage or sexuality which could be alien to the position held by the receiving country or culture.”

While the pope has said before that marriage must be between a man and a woman, his use of the phrase “ideological colonisation” appeared to be an appeal to developing countries not to follow the lead of nations where gay unions are already legal.

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