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Family undermined

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Those who undermine the fundamental role of the family cause “a deep wound to society” that is often impossible to repair, Pope John Paul II said.

In an apparent reference to laws being passed in many Western countries that expand the definitions of family, the Pope said the protection and promotion of traditional marriage and families by the Church is a matter of “exceptional urgency”.

The Pope gave his warning in an audience on November 20 with the Pontifical Council for the Family at the end of its three-day plenary assembly at the Vatican.

The Pope and other Church leaders repeatedly have been calling attention to what they see as the cultural and legal erosion of the established concept of marriage between a man and a woman under way in many developed countries.

The Church opposes legislation that permits same-sex marriage or gives legal status to cohabiting couples.

Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, who leads the Pontifical Council for the Family, told the Pope during the audience that council members had “reflected on the current challenges to the family and to life”.

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