Details, from CNS:
Permissive attitudes toward sex, cohabitation before marriage and acceptance of same-sex marriage can damage individuals and are harmful for society, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of U.S. bishops at the Vatican.
“It is in fact increasingly evident that a weakened appreciation of the indissolubility of the marriage covenant, and the widespread rejection of a responsible, mature sexual ethic grounded in the practice of chastity, have led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost,” the pope said March 9.
Meeting the bishops of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, who were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses, the pope said ignorance of or challenges to church teaching on marriage and sexuality were part of the “intellectual and ethical challenges” to evangelization in the United States today.
The pope did not focus on current tensions between the U.S. bishops and the Obama administration, particularly over health care coverage of contraception and other practices that violate church teaching. But at the beginning of his speech, Pope Benedict reiterated his concern about “threats to freedom of conscience, religion and worship which need to be addressed urgently so that all men and women of faith, and the institutions they inspire, can act in accordance with their deepest moral convictions.”
Concentrating his remarks on the need to promote and explain church teaching on sexuality, the pope said the church’s key concern is “the good of children, who have a fundamental right to grow up with a healthy understanding of sexuality and its proper place in human relationships.”
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