In the introduction to a new collection of his writings, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI states that gay "marriage" is based upon a "distortion of conscience" because it rejects (or fails to understand) the nature of man and woman and fertility.
This is also obvious, he adds, because gay marriage contradicts "all the cultures of humanity" and the "whole tradition of humanity until today."
The new book is entitled, The Real Europe: Identity and Mission, which includes a preface written by Pope Francis. The introduction, by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, was published in the Italian newspaper Il Foglio. Excerpts from the introduction, in English, were reported on by the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
"[W]ith the legalization of ‘same-sex marriage’ in 16 European countries, the issue of marriage and family has taken on a new dimension that cannot be ignored," states Benedict. “We are witnessing a distortion of conscience, which has evidently penetrated deeply into sectors of the Catholic people."
"[S]ame-sex marriage is in contradiction with all the cultures of humanity that have followed one another up to now, and thus signifies a cultural revolution that is opposed to the whole tradition of humanity until today," writes the retired Pope.
Throughout history, communities have understood that male and female are ordered to procreation, notes Benedict, as reported by CNA. And regardless of cultural differences over millennia, such as polygamy and divorce, those communities accepted the "openness to the transmission of life" between male and female, which determined the "essence of what is called marriage.”
“The basic certainty that mankind exists as male and female; that the transmission of life is a task assigned to mankind; that it is the community of male and female that serves this task; and that in this, beyond all differences, marriage essentially consists -- it is an original certainty that has been obvious to humanity up to now,” Benedict states in the introduction.
One of the most destructive factors in separating fertility from sexuality was the contraceptive pill, says Benedict.
“This separation means, in fact, that in this way all of the forms of sexuality are equivalent,” he said. “A fundamental criterion no longer exists.”
If sex is separated from fertility, then the emotional bond between man and woman is weakened, and sex under any circumstances and with any partner is eventually accepted.
As a result, this new way of thinking, this "new message," according to Benedict, "profoundly transformed men and women’s consciences -- first slowly and now more clearly," reported the CNA.
Eventually, "fertility, naturally, can be thought of even without sexuality," said Benedict. Human beings are no longer "generated and conceived but made," which means the human person is no longer a gift but a "product planned."
Gay "marriage" does not imply being “a little more broadminded and open," according to Benedict. "Rather, the basic question arises: who is man? And with it also the question of whether there is a Creator or if we are not all just manufactured products.”
“This alternative arises," he added, "either man is a creature of God, he is the image of God, he is a gift from God, or man is a product that he himself knows how to create.”
The retired Pope then made a comparison between violating the laws of nature, which gave rise to the ecological movement, and violating the laws of man's nature. "[T]he violation or denial of it leads to self-destruction," wrote Benedict.
“This is also the case with the creation of man as male and female, which is ignored in the hypothesis of ‘same-sex marriage,’” he said.
In a 2012 speech, then-Pope Benedict XVI stated that the education of children required proper "settings," and that “pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman.”
“This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society," he said. "Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself."