Although the national gay magazine The Advocate named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” in December 2013, the Pope repeated on Apr. 2 the Catholic Church’s teaching that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman, adding that this is part of “God’s design” and that “the image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman ….”During his General Audience speech at St. Peter’s Square on Apr. 2, before a crowd estimated at 45,000, Pope Francis first cited Genesis, saying, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. … Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

“The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together,” said the Pope. “God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful.”

“When a man and a woman celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, God as it were ‘is mirrored’ in them; He impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love,” said Pope Francis.  “Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.”

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