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The Pope "clearly connects life and marriage, the human person in the human family, with the most fundamental international issues of peace and human rights facing our times."

MANASSAS, Virginia (Zenit) - A new analysis shows an unusual twist Benedict XVI has given to talk of how to end global conflicts: He says respect for marriage is essential if the world wants to achieve peace.

"Pope Benedict XVI on Marriage: A Compendium" was published by the Virginia-based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy on the eve of the Holy Father's U.S. visit.

The study finds that in his nearly three-year pontificate, Benedict XVI has spoken publicly about marriage on 111 occasions, connecting marriage to such themes as human rights, world peace, and the conversation between faith and reason.

Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, said, "Over and over again he has made it clear that the marriage and family debate is central -- not peripheral -- to understanding the human person, and defending our human dignity."

The analysis notes the Pope's comments on such occasions as receiving the credentials of the new U.S. envoy to the Holy See, and his message for this year's World Day of Peace.

It refers to a Sept. 21, 2007, papal address, when Benedict XVI said: "There are those who maintain that human reason is incapable of grasping the truth, and therefore of pursuing the good that corresponds to personal dignity.

There are some who believe that it is legitimate to destroy human life in its earliest or final stages. Equally troubling is the growing crisis of the family, which is the fundamental nucleus of society based on the indissoluble bond of marriage between a man and a woman.

"Experience has shown that when the truth about man is subverted or the foundation of the family undermined, peace itself is threatened and the rule of law is compromised, leading inevitably to forms of injustice and violence."

The institute acknowledged that listing marriage as a requirement for world peace may "strike American ears as an oddity." But, it affirmed, "If so Benedict has made clear it is not an unintentional one."

Gallagher contended: "The short pontificate of Benedict XVI is already a standing rebuke to those voices of our time who seek to make us ashamed or embarrassed of caring about marriage and sexual issues, who try to get us to view the contemporary marriage debate as merely a distraction from more important issues."

She affirmed that the Pope "clearly connects life and marriage, the human person in the human family, with the most fundamental international issues of peace and human rights facing our times."



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