Saving humanity from the Pope
Updated on 23 December 2008
Lesbian and gay Christians denounce the Pope's claim that saving humanity from homosexuality is as important as saving the rainforests.
Speaking yesterday during his yearly meeting with Rome's cardinals and Bishops, Pope Benedict said it was the Church's duty to "save mankind from the destruction of himself".
But the Rev Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, described his remarks as "totally irresponsible and unacceptable in any shape or form."
She said: "It is more the case that we need to be saved from his comments.
"It is comments like that that justify homophobic bullying that goes on in schools and it is comments like that that justify gay bashing."
"It is more the case that we need to be saved from his comments. "Rev Sharon Ferguson
The Pontiff said humanity needed to listen to the "language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman.
He added that behaviour outside traditional heterosexual relations was a "destroying of God's work".
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual orientation is not a sin but homosexual acts are.
It opposes civil partnerships and gay marriage.