Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have collaborated on a new Encyclical, a papal circular letters addressed to Roman Catholic clergy intended to summarise a pontiff's thoughts on a particular facet of Church life.
The piece of writing released yesterday was begun by Benedict and completed by Francis and reiterates the Catholic church's position rejecting same-sex marriage, the AAP reports:
Francis paid tribute to pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the encyclical, saying that the ex-pontiff had "almost completed" the text before stepping down in a historic resignation this year and that he himself had merely added "further contributions."
The 82-page text stresses that there is no contradiction between the Catholic faith and the modern world and calls for more dialogue with scientists, other religions and non-believers.
It also restates the Catholic Church's position on marriage saying it should be a "stable union of man and woman."
"This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God's own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation," reads the text.
While some passages in the encyclical have a more academic and ponderous feel characteristic of Benedict XVI, others contain the simpler expressions and brighter outlook of his successor.