Pope Francis Calls for Civil Union Law for Same Sex Couples
“Francesco”, a documentary released today in Rome, shows Pope Francis calling for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex marriage. This position is the opposite of the Vatican’s stance, as well as past popes.
The film shows Pope Francis’s approach to pressing social issues. It features interviews with Vatican figures, including Cardinal Luis Tagle, and other collaborators. “Francesco” looks at the pope’s argument for migrants and refugees, the poor, sexual abuse, role of women in society, and the nature of Catholics and others towards same-sex couples.
One of the stories was the pontiff assisting in the raising the children of two Italian men in a same-sex relationship. The children are being brought up in a parish church, which showed great benefits.
In the documentary, Pope Francis was seen giving pastoral care for people who identify as LGBT. “Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family. He says, “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”
The film is set to release in North America this Sunday.
The Pope’s Past Stance on Same-Sex Marriage
In 2003, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and at the direction of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith taught that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.”
“Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, 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,” the CDF added, calling support for such unions from politicians “gravely immoral.”
“Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfill the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, 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.
In 2010, while he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis opposed all efforts to legitimize and legalize same-sex and gay marriage. While Sergio Rubin, the future pope’s biographer, suggested that Francis supported the idea of civil unions as a way to prevent the wholesale adoption of same-sex marriage in Argentina, Miguel Woites, director of the Argentinian Catholic news outlet AICA, dismissed in 2013 that claim as false.
In the 2013 book “On Heaven and Earth,” Pope Francis did not reject the possibility of civil unions outright, but did say that laws “assimilating” homosexual relationships to marriage are “an anthropological regression,” and he expressed concern that if same-sex couples “are given adoption rights, there could be affected children. Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity.”
In 2014, Fr. Thomas Rosica, who was then working in the Holy See’s press office told reporters that Pope Francis had not expressed support for same-sex civil unions, after some journalists reported that he had done so in an an interview that year. While a civil unions proposal was debated in Italy, Rosica emphasized that Francis would not weigh in on the debate, but would emphasize Catholic teaching on marriage.
Pope Francis vs Vatican
Bishops in some countries have not opposed proposals for same-sex civil unions, instead distinguishing them from civil marriage. Those who oppose civil unions have warned that they serve as a bridge to same-sex marriage, give approval to immorality, and do not protect the rights of children to be parented by both mother and father.
The Vatican’s press office did not respond to questions from anyone on the pope’s remarks in the film.