Pope Francis Offers Support for Same-Sex Civil Unions in Docu Film
This is the first time the pontiff has endorsed same-sex civil union since his appointment as Pope.
On Wednesday, 21 October, Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse civil union for same-sex couples. The pope’s remarks came during an interview in a documentary titled ‘Francesco’, which was premiered at Rome Film Festival, according to TIME magazine.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”Pope Francis
‘Francesco’ is a feature-length documentary on the life and beliefs of Pope Francis, in which he talks about seminal issues like climate change, migration, income and racial inequality and discrimination, TIME reported.
The pontiff was outspoken about the need for a same-sex civil law when he served as an archbishop in Buenos Aires, but his endorsement as Pope marks a fundamental shift in the way LGBTQ+ people have been viewed by the Catholic Church.
For a large part of history, the Catholic Church persecuted homosexuality. Even today, many churches view homosexuality as inherently sinful.
However, Pope Francis has made several gestures in support of LGBTQ+ people since his appointment in 2013.
Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit author and consultant to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, who has been at the forefront of extending support to LGBTQ+ communities tweeted in support of Pope Francis, calling his endorsement “a major step forward in the church for LGBTQ+ people.”
However, conservatives within the church have viewed Pope’s statement with skepticism.
Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island has said that the pontiff’s view is contrary to “the church’s long-standing teachings” and “the church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships,” according to Al Jazeera.
In 2003, a document from the Vatican’s doctrine office clearly divorced respect towards LGBTQ+ people from “legal recognition of homosexual unions”. This is because the church views legal unions in equivalence to marriage, which is an everlasting union between a man and woman, Al Jazeera’s report said.
While the pope has lauded same-sex civil union, he has said nothing of same-sex marriage.
(With inputs from TIME and Aljazeera)
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