Pope Francis has issued his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith). It faithfully presents the consistent teaching of the Scriptures in every part and of the Christian faith as it has been confessed always, everywhere and by all on the subject of marriage- namely, that it consists of a lifelong union between one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation and the nurturing of children.
The encyclical seems to mostly be the work of Francis's predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The current pontiff simply added touches of his own.
Their Holinesses write,
I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage," he said. "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, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan.
Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person.
This is one Lutheran who his grateful to the Pope(s) for this timely and faithful confession of the truth in the face of a lie our culture is rapidly coming to accept. I pray that we may yet be granted the grace as a culture to cling to God's intention in instituting marriage, to the truth that it is not simply a contract to be negotiated between individuals but an abiding foundation of human society whose terms are as little capable of alteration as the laws of nature- and the wisdom to avoid Justice Sotomeyer's non-sequitur that because men and women who are incapable of producing children are free to marry, it is unjust to deny others incapable of fulfilling the function which gives marriages their purpose the right to also "marry."
Children are produced by couples with a male partner and a female partner. That one particular set of male and female partners may lack that ability does not change the fact that they are male and female anyway.
But it takes a surgeon to turn a man into a woman or vice versa- and that doesn't even work at the genetic level.
Good work, your Holinesses.
But that Exsurge Domini thing, on the other hand... not so much.