The Pope, rainforests and homosexuality.
Pope Benedict has sparked controversy in a speech he made on 22 December in which he said the defence of heterosexuality was as important as saving the world's rainforests. (See English translation of speech)
Mark Dowd, campaign strategist at Operation Noah, the Christian environmental group, who is a gay man and a former Dominican friar, said the Pope's remarks were "understandable but misguided and unfortunate".
He said he understood the Pope's vision of creation in which rainforests were protected and men and women "complement one another, reproduce and live happily ever after".
But he said: "The problem is that if you study ecology seriously as any intelligent man would do, and the Pope is a fantastically intelligent man, you realise that ecology is complex, it has all sort of weird interdependencies and it is the same with human sexuality.
"It is not a one size fits all model, there are lots of differences, so therefore I think it is really sad that these comments betray a lack of openess to the complexity of creation."
Quote from Independent Catholic News:
Pope calls for 'ecology of man'
Pope Benedict has sparked controversy in a speech he made in which he said the defence of heterosexuality was as important as saving the world's rainforests.
Speaking in his end of year address to the Curia, the Holy Father said the church viewed the distinction between men and women as central to human nature, and "asks that this order, set down by creation, be respected".
He said: "the Church should protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed. The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less."
Pope Benedict said that modern theories on gender "lead towards the definitive emancipation of man from creation and the creator".