October 22, 2020 | Sex & Society

Pope Francis says he supports civil unions for gays

Pope Francis wavingA new documentary, Francesco, takes a closer look at Pope Francis. It premiered Thursday, and chronicles the approach of the current Roman Pontiff on pressing social issues, including LGBTQ relationships.

Pope Francis appears to have diverted from the official Vatican position and actually expressed support of civil unions.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film.  “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

"In the context where there is so much polarisation and scapegoating of LGBTI people, often endorsed and stoked by religious leaders, Pope Francis’ statement on same-sex unions is to be welcomed and should be carefully listened to," ILGA Europe said on Twitter. "We will monitor closely to see in how far the statement will be picked up by the churches and will lead to real change for LGBTI people and their families."

The 83-year-old has been the head of the Roman Catholic Church since 2013. During that time, he has received mixed reviews for his handling of LGBTQ issues. In 2016, for example, he argued that the Church should "apologise" to gay people. But in 2018, he encouraged queer youth to seek counselling, and has consistently opposed same-sex marriage.

Many within the Church still hold to Pope John Paul II's position that gay relationships should never be formally recognized.

Under John Paul II's leadership, the Church released the following statement: “Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

We wonder how long before the Church announces Francis' retirement.

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