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Support traditional family, Pope bids Italian political leaders

Catholic World News - January 14, 2011

In an annual meeting with local political leaders, Pope Benedict XVI made a strong plea for public support of family life, “founded on marriage between a man and a woman.”

Speaking to Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome and the presidents of the Rome and Lazio regions (Nicola Zingaretti and Renata Polverini, respectively), the Pope said:

The approval of forms of union which pervert the essence and goal of the family ends up penalizing those people who, not without effort, seek to maintain stable emotional ties which are juridically guaranteed and publicly recognized.

Promotion of strong family life should include “concrete support to maternity” and programs to help young families struggling with the economic consequences of unemployment, the Pope said.

The Pope also prodded the political leaders to promote reverence for human life, noting that “the large number of abortions that take place in our region cannot leave us indifferent.” He pointed to the efforts by Christian groups to provide pregnancy-help centers and homes for unwed mothers, and encouraged similar public initiatives. He said that public policies should also provide support for the elderly, and encourage “a culture of respect for life until its natural end.”

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