[JURIST] A Vatican panel Tuesday condemned same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] as a major threat to the family, along with abortion [JURIST news archive], contraception and in vitro fertilization. The Pontifical Council for the Family [official website; official backgrounder], founded by Pope John Paul II in 1981, issued a 57-page document titled "Family and Human Procreation," saying [press release] that "[t]he unitive act of man and woman cannot be separated from its connatural dimension, which is that of procreation and which makes responsible paternity and maternity possible."
The document, which appears to summarize rather than modify the church's traditional positions, is the first major statement on such issues during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI [official profile; BBC profile]. It has nonetheless already drawn fire from gay advocates and their parliamentary allies, who have traditionally been wary about what they regard as Vatican interventions in secular issues. AP has more.