Pope warns: The very basis of marriage is being called into question

The Pope has issued a dire warning about same-sex marriage, while addressing the US Congress.

The Catholic leader is currently on a tour of the US, in a bid to reach out to Catholics in the country.

Despite strong Catholic opposition to the Supreme Court ruling legalising same-sex marriage earlier this year, so far the Pontiff has largely stayed away from LGBT issues that the religious right oppose.

However, in a speech to Congress earlier this week, he delivered a dire warning about the future of marriage while referencing his upcoming visit to the anti-LGBT World Meeting of Families.

The Pope said: “I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families.

“It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country!

“And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without.

“Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.”

He also claimed that people were being ‘pressured’ into not starting families.

The leader said: “At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future.

“Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.”

Despite an early ‘who am I to judge’ PR blitz attempting to bolster his image, the Pope is yet to lift any of the actively homophobic and transphobic policies of his predecessors.

Proposals to ‘reach out’ to gay people were scrapped by the Church last year – and despite suggestions that the plans would return at a 2015 Synod, it soon became clear the Church has no plans to discuss the matter again.

The Pope has also increasingly rallied against same-sex marriage, inviting representatives from listed hate groups to a ‘traditional marriage’ conference, urging Slovakians to vote against equal marriage, which he claims “disfigures God’s creation”.