Pope: Gay Marriage 'Pseudo Matrimony' by Malcolm Thornberry 365Gay.com European Bureau Chief Posted: June 6, 2005 5:00 pm ET (Vatican City) Pope Benedict XVI has made his first public statement on same-sex marriage since his election - a stinging condemnation of gay and lesbian families. Repeatedly driving home his point that marriage can only be a union between man and woman, the Pope called same-sex unions "pseudo-matrimony". He made the remarks in an address to a conference of the Diocese of Rome on the role of the family held at St. John Lateran basilica. "The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man," he said. Although was his first public comment on same-sex marriage since becoming Pope, Benedict has long history of attacking same-sex unions. As Cardinal Ratzinger he was the Vatican's most outspoken opponent of gay marriage. Ratzinger was the author of the a 2003 Vatican directive to priests around the world calling for a proactive stand to stop governments from legalizing same-sex marriage and for a repeal of those those already on the books that give rights, including adoption, to gay couples. (story) The 12 page document called on Catholic bishops and lawmakers to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions. Ratzinger opposes contraception and the use of condoms to combat HIV/AIDS. He advocates a diminished role for women in the Church and has called for mandatory celibacy for priests. In 1999 he ordered two Americans, Sister Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent, to end their associated with New Ways Ministry which provides educational programs for gay and lesbian Catholics nationwide.