Former Pope Benedict XVI links gay weddings to ‘the Antichrist’ in scathing new attack on LGBT+ rights

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI

Former Pope Benedict XVI has launched an attack on LGBT+ people for a new book.

According to Italian outlet Corriere Della Sera, the 93-year-old Pope emeritus – who became Pope in 2005 but stood aside for Pope Francis in 2013 – gave a rare interview to Peter Seewald for the publication of a new biography.

In it, the ex-Pope vents about gay weddings and society’s treatment of homophobes.

Former Pope Benedict XVI is upset that homophobes are ‘excommunicated by society’.

He rages: “100 years ago, everybody would have considered it to be absurd to speak of a homosexual marriage. Today, one is being excommunicated by society if one opposes it.”

Also condemning “the creation of human beings in the laboratory”, Pope Benedict added: “Modern society is in the middle of formulating an anti-Christian creed, and if one opposes it, one is being punished by society with excommunication.

“The fear of this spiritual power of the Antichrist is then only more than natural, and it really needs the help of prayers on the part of an entire diocese and of the Universal Church in order to resist it.”

Former Pope Benedict XVI

Former Pope Benedict XVI (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The biography charts the life of the German ex-Pope, born Joseph Ratzinger, chronicling his rise within the Church from his early years in the Hitler Youth – an experience which clearly did not teach him any lasting lessons about the treatment of minorities.

As Pope, Ratzinger aggressively opposed LGBT+ rights.

During his time as Pope, Ratzinger aggressively opposed LGBT+ rights, and dedicated much of the Church’s resources to opposing same-sex marriage which he claimed “threatens human dignity and the future of humanity itself”.

He insisted: “There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union.

“Such attempts actually harm and help to destabilise marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.”

Although Popes usually serve until death, Benedict resigned in 2013 amid whispers of ill health, as well as brewing corruption and sex abuse scandals within the Church.

He was replaced by the current Pope, Pope Francis, who has pursued a more outwardly liberal PR drive – though critics point out that he has not pushed through any real changes in the Church’s stance towards LGBT+ people, nor ceased lobbying efforts against equality.