Pope Benedict XVI issued another defence of the traditional family, which he said is collapsing under the weight of unmarried unions and an increasing number of divorces.
The pontiff's latest remarks in his campaign to protect marriage between man and woman came during an audience to Vatican envoys in Latin American.
"Family deserves a priority attention, as it is showing signs of collapse under pressure from lobbies that are capable of negatively affecting the legislative processes," the pope said on Saturday.
Earlier this month the Italian government passed legislation that would grant legal rights to unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, who live together. Other European countries have similar legislation.
Benedict has been leading a Church drive against legal recognition for unmarried couples, which he contends threaten the family as a fundamental institution of society. He has also campaigned vigorously against any efforts to allow gays to marry.
"Divorces and free unions are on the rise, while adultery is looked at with inexcusable tolerance," the pontiff added in his speech. "Only on the rock of marital love between a man and a woman, solid and faithful, can we build a community worthy of a human being.