Pope: Gay marriage is an `insidious' threat
Also admits that priest sex abuse scandal is `born from sin within the church'
Chicago, IL —
During a visit to Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI blasted gay marriage as "insidious and dangerous threats to the common good."
The pontiff's remarks come as Portugal gets ready to legalize same-sex marriage next week.
Portugal's left-wing led Parliament passed the same-sex marriage bill in February. Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva must sign it into law by May 17.
Cavaco Silva is Catholic and he could veto the bill. But it would easily pass a final vote in Parliament.
Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway already allow gay marriage.
The Pope lumped together abortion and gay marriage in the same sermon.
"Initiatives aimed at protecting the essential and primary values of life, beginning at conception, and of the family based on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman, help to respond to some of today's most insidious and dangerous threats to the common good," he said.
The Pope encouraged ministers and Christian charity operators to try to avoid taking state money, so they could duck civil rights legislation that didn't match his version of Church teachings.
On the way to Portugal, the Pope also addressed the priest sex abuse scandal in a new way. Vatican spokesmen have tried to paint the most recent allegations as personal attacks on Benedict, but now he's offering a new perspective.
"Attacks against the pope or the church do not only come from outside; rather the sufferings of the church come from within, from the sins that exist in the church," he said.
"This too has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: the greatest persecution of the church does not come from enemies on the outside, but is born from the sin within the church, the church therefore has a deep need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness but also the need for justice."