Almost three-quarters of Germans disapprove of Pope's gay edict

Cologne, Germany - Almost three quarters of Germans disagree with a Catholic Church edict, approved by German

Pope Benedict XVI, banning the ordination of gays as priests, a survey said.

Some 71 percent of people quizzed by German news channel N-tv disapproved of the Pope's decision about the order, published by the Vatican on Tuesday. Just 25 percent approved.

Even those among the 1,000 respondents who identified themselves as Catholics, 67 percent were opposed to the edict, only slightly fewer than the 74 percent figure for Protestants.

The Vatican's prohibition applies to seminarians involved in homosexual practices as well as those displaying "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" or those who support "gay culture".

It was widely leaked before being published, sparking a row within the Roman Catholic Church and being widely condemned by gay and civil rights groups.

Benedict XVI, who took over as pope in April, was born Joseph Ratzinger in Bavaria in 1927.