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AHEAD of the Catholic Church’s Word Peace Day on January 1, 2013, Pope Ratzinger issued a warning that any efforts to allow gays and lesbians to wed would:

Actually harm and help to destabilize marriage.

This in turn, the doddering old bigot suggested, would pose a threat to world peace.

According to this report Ratzinger wrote that in order to pursue peace:

There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.

His latest message of hate immediately sparked a protest outside the Vatican, where a small group of around 15 activists gathered to display signs reading "Talk About Love" and "Homophobia = Death," among others.

The group was blocked from getting into St Peter's Square, where thousands gathered for Advent celebrations and to hear the Pope speak, and some of the placards were confiscated by police.

Among the central message of the group's signs, was one that said:

Gay unions don't harm peace. Weapons do.

After railing against abortion and marriage equality, Ratzinger said what the other side pursues is

An offence against the truth of the human person. These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity.

Meanwhile, American Catholics are moving further away from Pope Benedict on the issue. A new Quinnipiac University poll released this month found that among white Catholics, support for marriage equality is at 49 percent, with 43 percent opposed.

Earlier in the week, the Vatican claimed that same-sex couples live in a "different reality" and continue to chase the "utopia" of equality.

L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Holy See, printed a front-page editorial on Monday titled "Marriage Is Not a Contract”, claiming that same-sex couples live in some sort of "different reality" where they believe the foundations of society will not quake if an "utopia" of equality, which "caused such damage in the twentieth century," is achieved.

The nonsensical editorial added:

Saying that marriage between a woman and a man is equal to that between two homosexuals is, in fact, a denial of the truth that affects one of the basic structures of human society, the family. We cannot base a society on these foundations without then paying a very high price as happened in the past when there was an attempt to achieve total economic and social equality. Why repeat the same mistake and chase after an unattainable utopia?

The Vatican's editorial condemned same-sex couples adopting children, stating that this will only lead to "new forms of exploitation" in science.

The article also criticizes a piece that appeared in the French Catholic weekly Temoignage Chretien, which endorsed the country’s controversial gay marriage bill. The Vatican says the French article seeks to only promote what is trendy.

Being Catholic is about much more than embracing fashionable cultural standpoints.

The Catholic Church's latest message of hate sparked an online campaign featuring photos of LGBT people with the phrase "I am a threat to peace". It was also launched in Italy and has already posted thousands of images to its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, it looks as if the the French Government is on course for a full-scale confrontation with the Catholic Church, which is increasingly trying to interfere in political processes.

The socialist administration has announced it intends to establish a new agency to ensure the nation's secularism is protected from religious extremism.

The announcement came as the confrontation between the Catholic Church and the Government over plans to legalise gay marriage was intensifying.

The Church had called several large-scale demonstrations throughout the country in opposition to the plans, while last weekend up to 150,000 people marched through the streets of Paris in support of the proposals.

Christine Boutin, a Catholic ex-MP has accused the Government of "Cathophobia".

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