Homosexual Couples "Are Not Family," Says Vatican Official

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BUENOS AIRES, AUG. 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Homosexual couples cannot be considered as "family" in the proper sense of the term, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.



Commenting on the law of civil unions of homosexuals in force in Buenos Aires for the past few weeks, Archbishop Renato Martino said: "They can call it what they wish, but that is not family."

"Children need a father and a mother, and that is the general rule," Archbishop Martino explained during a visit in Argentina, in statements to the Catholic agency AICA.

If same-sex couples were to adopt children, he asked: "Where would the role of the absent father or mother be?"

"We know precisely by the Declaration of Human Rights that the family is the basic cell of society and, as such, must be protected," the archbishop said. "Many times, it is destroyed by divorce, but that is not the rule. Even in these situations of emergency, when the family breaks down, provision must be made for the education of children, who need a father and a mother."

He added: "No program for development can be made if the needs of the family and its essence are not kept in mind."