Vatican City, December 21 - The pope again attacked gay marriage in his Christmas greeting to the Curia on Friday. Benedict XVI defended as God's natural design the notion of family founded on the marriage of a man and a woman, without whom "figures fundamental to human existence disappear: the father, the mother, the child" and without whom "essential dimensions of the experience of being a person fall". He called the recent statement of France's chief rabbi Gille Bernheim, which argued against gay marriage and was delivered to the French government, "a profoundly touching and accurately documented tract". A week ago Benedict caused a stir by saying gay marriage could cause "serious harm to justice and peace". In his Friday message to the Curia the pope also said he supported inter-religious dialogue as "necessary for peace in this world".