Pope Francis calls for civil union laws for same-sex couples: ‘They are children of God and have a right to a family’


Pope Francis says same-sex unions need to be legally protected in a stunning departure from the Vatican on the issue.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family,” Francis said in a new documentary that premiered in Rome Wednesday.

“Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” he added.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

According to the Catholic News Agency, the remarks came as the documentary, “Francesco,” touched on how the church should care for LGBTQ people.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the 83-year-old pope said. “I stood up for that.”

Directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky (known for 2015′s “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”), the film chronicles the work of the Holy Father throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and his thoughts on women’s rights, sexual abuse in the church, racism, the refugee crisis and the LGBTQ community.

Or, in the words of the pope, those who live “on the existential peripheries.”Pope Francis under fire for violating mask rules amid surging coronavirus cases »

LGBTQ rights advocates celebrated the news as a “significant step for inclusion and acceptance in the Catholic Church.”

Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, told the Daily News in a statement that, “by shifting Catholic theology in a more inclusive direction and making clear that LGBTQ people have a right to their own families, Pope Francis is letting LGBTQ Catholics know that being a person of faith and being LGBTQ are not mutually exclusive.”

The organization, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, vowed to continue pushing “all religious leaders, to fully embrace LGBTQ people and endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples, our right to have families, and to be full members of our faith communities.”

The National Catholic Reporter noted that Francis “has supported civil unions for years,” citing at least two episodes in which the pontiff had spoken in favor of civil union for same-sex couples.

But, as The Associated Press pointed out, Francis had never come out publicly in favor of civil unions as the Vicar of Christ.

To Thomas Tobin, the bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, the pope’s statement “clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the church about same-sex unions,” he said, according to the AP.

“The church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships,” he added.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Francesco” features interviews with Francis, his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, collaborators of the pope, as well as activists who have fought against some of the Vatican’s positions in recent years.

“The film tells the story of the pope by reversing the cameras,” said Vatican communications director Paolo Ruffini, who collaborated with Afineevsky on the film.

“Francesco” premiered as part of the Rome Film Festival.

Its premiere comes as the head of the Catholic Church makes international headlines for refusing to wear a mask during an indoor service on Wednesday, violating Vatican regulations to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. (Click to Source)


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