Thus a friend comments on my earlier "Muddling Through" post. He's right, of course. What Benedict XVI said in his New Year's homily is right at the heart of his pastoral concern. In my haste to repair this oversight, here is the London Times Online summary of the pope's message:
Happy New Year again.
Pope Benedict XVI has ushered in the New Year with a plea for peace for the whole "human family" in a world marked by the "dark shadows" of war, violence, poverty and destruction of the environment.
In his homily at New Year's Day mass at St Peter's Basilica he said that the traditional family was the foundation of world peace. He added: "We all aspire to live in peace, but real peace is not the simple conquest of man or the result of political agreements: it is above all a divine gift."
In an indirect but clear attack on civil unions and gay marriages the Pope said "The family is the primary agent of peace, and the negation or even restriction of rights of the family threatens the very foundations of peace." In Spain, one of a number of European countries where gay marriage is sanctioned, hundreds of thousands marched in a "Family Day" demonstration last Sunday to defend traditional family values.
"Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an obstacle on the road to peace," the Pope said.