Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's sqaure at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The pope has taken his opposition to gay marriage to new heights with a strong denunciation of how people today are manipulating their sex and gender to alter their God-given nature.
Benedict made the comments Friday in his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy — one of his most important speeches of the year and one he dedicated this year to promoting family values.
In it, Benedict quoted the chief rabbi of France in saying the campaign for granting gays the right to marry was an "attack" on the traditional family made up of a father, mother and children.
Benedict also issued a denunciation of gay marriage in his recently released annual peace message, saying gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, was a threat to world peace.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.