In a move that many people argue is directly contrary to the Word of God, Pope Francis has decided that same sex couples should be approved by the church.
Pope Francis has spoken up in defense of homosexual families and called for civil union laws for same-sex couples — a major shift from both his own and the Vatican’s position on the matter.
“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family,” the pontiff says in a new documentary, “Francesco,” according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
“Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” the pope reportedly says in the doc, which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”
The documentary also includes a story of the pontiff encouraging two Italian men in a same-sex relationship to raise their children in their parish church, the report said.
Pope Francis opposed efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010 while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, and has only been “circumspect” in his support of civil unions, CNA noted.
“This is the first time as pope he’s making such a clear statement,” the Rev. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit who has advocated for the church to more openly welcome LGBT members, told the Washington Post.
“I think it’s a big step forward. In the past, even civil unions were frowned upon in many quarters of the church. He is putting his weight behind legal recognition of same-sex civil unions.”
The shift will also likely spark controversy among Catholics — with CNA noting how until recently, support for such unions was deemed “gravely immoral.”
Under the direction of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2003 had stated that “respect for homosexual persons” was not “approval of homosexual behavior” or “legal recognition of homosexual unions,” the agency said.
“Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior … but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity,” the doctrine said, according to CNA.
“There are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase,” the document said.
Francis’ latest comments came during a sit-down interview with filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, who was given unprecedented access since he started working on “Francesco” in 2018.
It also examines the pope’s advocacy for migrants and refugees, the poor, his work on the issue of clerical sexual abuse and the role of women in society, CNA said.
“I’m looking at him not as the pope, I’m looking at him as a humble human being, great role model to younger generation, leader for the older generation, a leader to many people not in the sense of the Catholic Church, but in the sense of pure leadership, on the ground, on the streets,” the Russian-born filmmaker told CNA.
The Vatican did not respond to CNA