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Pope Praises Family Life

June 7, 1998

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II on Saturday assailed attempts by lawmakers in some countries to legalize forms of families outside traditional husband-wife marriages.

John Paul did not single out any countries while talking about the value of family life to a group of U.S. bishops who were meeting with the pontiff during a visit to the Vatican.

The pope praised family life, when it is ``strong and healthy,″ as the bedrock of community life.

``But where the family is weak, all human relationships are exposed to instability and fragmentation,″ he told the bishops.

The Vatican opposes moves to give non-married couples the same legal rights as those who are, and disapproves of legalization of unions between homosexuals.

``At a time when the very definitions of marriage and family life are endangered by attempts to enshrine in legislation alternative and distorted notions of these basic human communities, your ministry must include the clear proclamation of the truth of God’s original design,″ John Paul said.

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