The Pope has been accused of trying to rule Italy’s political agenda after yet again criticising gay marriage.
Addressing a meeting on family and marriage, Pope Benedict XVI repeated the Catholic Church’s view on marriage as between a man and a woman.
He said: “Only the rock of total and irrevocable love between a man and a woman is capable of being the foundation of building a society that becomes a home for all mankind.
“Today, it has become urgent to avoid confusion between marriage and other types of unions which are based on a love that is weak.”
His remarks were criticised by the country’s new left wing coalition government under Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
Gay parliamentarian, Franco Grillini accused the Pope of interfering in the “political agenda” and “”ignoring the rights of million of Italians who live together.”
Europe’s first transgender MP, Vladimir Luxuria, told Reuters it was the duty of the state to “recognize and regulate” gay unions.
Signor Prodi has promised to change Italy including introducing a civil partnership law.