Pope attacks abortion, defends `love of a man and a woman`

Pope Benedict XVI sanctified a world monument to family, Barcelona`s Sagrada Familia church, launching an attack on abortion and a defence of the love of a "man and a woman."

Updated: Nov 07, 2010, 19:15 PM IST

Barcelona: Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday
sanctified a world monument to family, Barcelona`s Sagrada
Familia church, launching an attack on abortion and a defence
of the love of a "man and a woman."

In a clear reference to abortion just four months
after Spain passed laws easing women`s access to the
operation, the 83-year-old pontiff said the Church "resists
every form of denial of human life".

Only love and faith could lead to true freedom, said
the pope, draped in a golden vestement and mytre and
addressing 6,500 faithful in the colossal main nave of the
church, transformed by his blessing into a Basilica.

"For this reason the Church resists every form of
denial of human life and gives its support to everything that
would promote the natural order in the sphere of the
institution of the family," he said in a reference to the
Church opposition to all abortion.

The Church called for social and economic help for
women to develop at home and work, and for men and women who
marry to form a family with "decisive support from the state,"
he said.

He urged "that the life of children may be defended as
sacred and inviolable from the moment of their conception,
that the reality of birth be given due respect and receive
juridical, social and legislative support."

The pope, who was faced by a gay kiss-in protest as he
travelled to the Sagrada Familia in his transparent
"popemobile", also defended the traditional pairing of man and
woman.

"There also need to be moral advances, such as in
care, protection and assistance to families, inasmuch as the
generous and indissoluble love of a man and a woman is the
effective context and foundation of human life in its
gestation, birth, growth and natural end."

Some 6,500 guests, including hundreds of priests and
bishops witnessed the consecration of the building, where work
continues 128 years after the first stone was laid.

They sat in the vast nave, surrounded by a forest of
white tree-like columns rising 60 metres up, splitting into
branches and then spreading into a ceiling of leaves crackled
with gold and green mosaic.

With the consecration, the main nave is open for daily
mass for the first time since the first stone was laid March
19, 1882. Until now mass has been held in the crypt, Gaudi`s
last resting place.

Building could still take another 15 years at least,
with 10 more spires to be constructed, including the central
tower crowned by a cross reaching up 170 metres, the main
Glory facade, and the sacristies.

PTI