After decades of Catholic Church attempts to crush marriage equality, Pope Francis has called for civil unions for same-sex couples.
What we have to create is a civil union law. “In this way, they are legally covered,” said Pope Francis, in a new documentary when talking about how to support LGBT people. According to the Catholic News Agency. “She defended it.”
The Pope said, “Homosexuals have the right to be part of the family.” “They are children of God and have the right to a family. Nobody should be expelled or become miserable because of this.”
Evgeny Afineevsky’s New Documentary, Francesco, It premieres at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday and focuses on how the pope cares and helps disadvantaged communities.
His comments in the movie marked the first time that Francis has publicly called for legal protection for same-sex relationships as the Pope.
In 2003, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI – declared that “the legal recognition of marriage between homosexuals or their placement in the same level of marriage does not mean only consent to deviant behavior, as a result of making it a model in Today’s society, but it would also obscure the fundamental values that belong to the common inheritance of humanity. “
There have been reports in the past that Francis particularly supported civil unions in 2010, when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and the country was passing marriage equality laws, but They were disputed.
The Pope has never supported same-sex marriage or the official recognition by the Church of same-sex relationships.
After the Wednesday news, Catholic LGBTQ activists spoke enthusiastically but hesitantly about the news.
“If this is a public acknowledgment that same-sex couples deserve – and the Church will no longer deny – legal recognition for committed relationships, then it is clear that this represents an international game-changer,” Marian Dodi-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, a Catholic LGBTQ organization, told BuzzFeed News.
But although Dodi-Burke called the Pope’s comments “very important,” she wanted more clarity as to what exactly the Pope meant.
“I think it will stir up a range of emotions from joy to suspicion across the Queer Catholic community,” she said. Will this go to something that will be ‘clarified’ by the Vatican in the coming days?
The Vatican did not respond to a request for comment.
Francis DiBernardo, executive director of the New Ways Ministry Catholic group, said he “gratefully welcomes” the Pope’s comments, although he also hopes the Pope will recognize these relationships within the Church as well.
“It is a historic moment when the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, who has long been seen as a persecutor of LGBT people, moves in such a direction in support of gay / gay couples and their families,” said Dibirnardo.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that this statement not only protected LGBT couples and families, but it would also save many gay lives,” said Di Bernardo.
Francesco It premiere in the US on Sunday at the Savannah Film Festival.