It's the second year that the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) celebrated Pride Month in the wake of Secretary of State Antony Blinken issuing blanket permission allowing U.S. diplomatic outposts around the world to display the rainbow flag simultaneously with the U.S. flag, underscoring the importance of LGBT rights.
“Today is the start of Pride Month,” the Embassy announced in its tweet. “The United States respects and promotes the equality and human dignity of all people, including the LGBTQIA+ community.”
The year before, Pope Francis preemptively offered an alternative Christian message in June, exhorting Christians to pray throughout the month for young women and men who are preparing to marry. On June 1, 2021, the pope made a video in which he announced his prayer plan for the church throughout the month entitled “The Beauty of Matrimony.” The video was released on the official website of the Vatican's Worldwide Prayer Network. “Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness, and patience,” the pontiff stated. “Is it true what some people say, that young people do not want to get married, especially in these hard times?” he asked in the video. “Getting wed and sharing your life is an amazing thing. It's an uphill, often difficult, and even a bit tense, however, it's worthwhile to take the chance… And on this journey of all life, the bride and groom are not alone: Jesus accompanies them,” Francis added.
The pope then went on to declare that marriage isn't all about “the party” but about a call to the commitment of sharing a life-long project. “Marriage is not only a ‘social' act: it is a vocation that comes from the heart, it is a conscious decision for life, which requires specific preparation.”
From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has championed traditional marriage between a man and a woman. He has insisted that marriage, based on “the complementarity of man and woman,” is in danger in modern times. The traditional marriage between a man and a woman “is being questioned by the so-called gender ideology,” the pope stated in June 2015, but the distinctions between women and men are not a sign of “opposition or subordination.” They are intended to serve “communion and procreation, always in the image and likeness of God.”
The most convincing proof of the benefits that come from Christian weddings includes “the good life of Christian spouses and families,” Francis declared at another time, as marriage ordained in the name of God “preserves the bond between man and woman that God has blessed since the creation of the world.” The attraction of this testimony is based on the connection between women and men. He said it can be described as “the way of reciprocity between them, the complementarity between them.”