After decades of efforts by the Catholic Church to disrupt marriage equality, Pope Francis has called for civil unification for same-sex couples.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way, they are legally protected, ”Pope Francis said in a new documentary while talking about how to support LGBTQ people, according to the Catholic News Agency. “I stood up for that.”
“A homosexual person has the right to be part of the family,” the pope said. “They are children of God and have the right to have a family. No one should be thrown away or made miserable for it.”
New documentary film by Evgeny Afineevsky, Francesco, which premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday and focuses on how the pope cares and helps disadvantaged communities.
His comments in the film are the first time Pope Francis has openly called for legal protection of same-sex relationships as Pope.
In 2003, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – then under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would later become Pope Benedict XVI – declared that “The legal recognition of homosexual unions or equating them with marriage does not only make sense.the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a role model in today’s society, will also obscure fundamental values. belong to the common basic of mankind. “
It was previously reported that Pope Francis gave private support to civil unions in 2010, when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires and the country was passing a marriage equality law, but they were disputed.
The pope has never been in favor of same-sex marriage or official church recognition of same-sex relationships.
After the news Wednesday, Catholic LGBTQ activists spoke excitedly but hesitantly about the news.
Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, a Catholic LGBTQ organization, said: “If this is the public recognition that gay couples deserve – and the church will no longer stop – legal recognition of committed relationships), told BuzzFeed News.
But although Duddy-Burke calls the pope’s comments “very important”, she wants to clarify more about exactly what the pope meant.
“I think it will spike a range of emotions from delight to disbelief in the quirky Catholic community,” she said. “Is this something that will be ‘clarified’ by the Vatican in the coming days?”
The Vatican did not respond to a request for comment.
Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the New Ways Catholic LGBTQ advocacy group, said he was “grateful” for the pope’s remarks, although he also hopes the pope recognizes those relationships within. church.
DeBernardo said: “It was a historic moment when the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, seen as a persecutor of LGBTQ people, moved in favor of lesbian / gay couples and family. their”.
Mr. De Bernardo said: “It is no exaggeration to say that with this statement, the Pope not only protects LGBTQ couples and families, but also saves lives of LGBTQ people.
Francesco premieres in the US on Sunday at the Savannah Film Festival.