Pope Benedict XVI yesterday condemned gay marriage and abortion as “among the most insidious and dangerous challenges” to society.
Speaking on a visit to Portugal, which is preparing to legalise same-sex partnerships, the Pontiff also criticised Catholics who are ashamed of their faith and too willing to “lend a hand to secularism.”
The gay marriage legislation was recently passed by the Portuguese parliament and is due to be signed into law next week by President Anibal Cavaco Silva, a conservative Catholic. Ninety per cent of Portuguese define themselves as Catholic but Portuguese society is increasingly secular, with well under a third saying they attend mass regularly.
The Pope was speaking after a packed open air mass at the Marian shrine at Fatima, the Portuguese Lourdes, 120 kilometres north of Lisbon. The mass was attended by half a million people.
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