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The bond between two men or two women

The excerpts below are taken from top-level statements on family life during the pontificate of John Paul II.

On Divorce

“Divorce attacks the very institution of marriage and the family.”

--Holy See’s “Charter of the Rights of the Family,” 1983

“To all those who in our times consider it too difficult or indeed impossible to be bound to one person for the whole of life, and to those caught up in a culture that rejects the indissolubility of marriage and openly mocks the commitment of spouses to fidelity, it is necessary to reconfirm the good news of the definitive nature of that conjugal love that has in Christ its foundation and strength.”

--John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 1981

On Homosexual Marriage

“[Civil unions] between homosexuals are a deplorable distortion of what should be a communion of love and life between a man and a woman in a reciprocal gift open to life.”

--John Paul II, “Discourse to Participants in the XIV General Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family,” 1994

“Marriage cannot be reduced to a condition similar to that of a homosexual relationship; this is contrary to common sense. … Furthermore, the attempts to legalize the adoption of children by homosexual couples adds an element of great danger to all the previous ones.”

--“Family, Marriage, and ‘De Facto’ Unions,” Pontifical Council for the Family, 2000

“The bond between two men or two women cannot constitute a real family and much less can the right be attributed to that union to adopt children without a family.”

--John Paul II, Angelus Address, Feb. 20, 1994

On Fertility

“A civilization inspired by a consumerist, anti-birth mentality is not and cannot ever be a civilization of love.”

--John Paul II, “Letter to Families,” 1994

“One of the most important factors behind the demographic crisis in Europe is the role of women. The factors that lead women to work outside the home have resulted in a lower birth rate. An overemphasis on a woman’s activities outside the home has brought about less esteem for motherhood and a woman’s role in the home.”

--“Family and Demography in Europe,” Pontifical Council for the Family, 1996

“The worrying demographic collapse cannot fail to be for Italian society a motive for attentive reflection and a stimulus to renewal, both in mentality and in cultural, political and legislative choices. Above all, it is up to the partners in a marriage to revive the culture of love and of life, rediscovering the mission of being parents, which was assumed in the moment of their matrimony.”

--John Paul II, Angelus Address, Feb. 6, 2000

On Births Outside Wedlock

“The dignity of human persons requires their origin to be from parents joined in marriage. ... This is the only origin that adequately safeguards the principle of the children’s identity, not only from the genetic or biological viewpoint, but also from the biographical and historical perspective.”

“The continued sequence between conjugality, motherhood/fatherhood and kinship … avoids many serious problems for society which come up precisely when the chain of the different elements is broken in such a way that each of them acts independently from the others.”

--“Family, Marriage, and ‘De Facto’ Unions,” Pontifical Council for the Family, 2000

On Civil Recognition of ‘De Facto’ Unions

“The orientation of some political communities today of discriminating against marriage by attributing an institutional status to de facto unions that is similar, or even equivalent to marriage and the family, is a serious sign of the contemporary breakdown in the social moral conscience, of ‘weak thought’ with regard to the common good, when it is not a real and proper ideological imposition exerted by influential pressure groups.

“Equality before the law must respect the principle of justice, which means treating equals equally, and what is different differently: i.e., to give each one his due in justice. This principle of justice would be violated if de facto unions were given a juridical treatment similar or equivalent to the family based on marriage.”

--“Family, Marriage, and ‘De Facto’ Unions,” Pontifical Council for the Family, 2000

National Catholic Reporter, January 5, 2001