Pope Francis has endorsed same-sex civil union, stating that gay individuals are ‘children of God,’ who ‘have the right to be in a family.’
His endorsement came halfway through a feature-length film, Francesco, which premiered earlier today at the Rome Film Festival.
The film discusses topics that Francis talks about the most, including climate, poverty, migration, racial and economic inequality, and the discrimination that affects humans the most.
“Homosexual people have the right to be part of a family. They are God’s children. What we require is a civil union law; this will cover them legally.”
According to his biographer, the future pope supported civil unions for same-sex couples while he was still the archbishop of Buenos Aires.
But Pope Francis has always publicly voiced opposition to gay marriage, saying that such union should only be between a man and woman.
The Pope’s comments would come as a blow to millions of Roman Catholics who have long practiced the teaching that homosexual marriages are immoral and accepted the Church’s stance against the global advance of gay rights.
How previous popes have approached same-sex civil union
John Paul II (1978-April 2005)
During his reign, Pope John Paul II denounced same-sex marriage. Besides, he also labeled it as an invasion of society’s structure while calling on Catholics to resist it. He claimed it was an aggressive effort to constitutionally weaken the family.
‘Attacks on marriage and families are getting more and more extreme every day from an ideological and legal aspect. He made this statement in an interview in 2004.
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‘Who breaks this essential fabric causes social harm and also causes irreparable damage.’
A century earlier, everyone might have considered it ridiculous to discuss gay marriage. Benedict explained in an interview with German journalist Peter Seewald.
Benedict went on to claim that equal marriage rights were of the Antichrist alongside abortion and reproductive technology.
He said: ‘Modern culture is in the process of creating an anti-Christian creed. Moreover, if one contradicts it, society will punish such a one with ex-communication.
‘The apprehension of this demonic force of the Antichrist is therefore just more than natural, and it also requires the support of prayer on the part of the whole diocese and of the universal Church in order to overcome it.’
Same-sex marriage in the catholic
The Catholic Church believes that homosexual traits are not sinful, but homosexual activities are. It even instructs treating homosexuals with respect.
In their papal tenure, Francis’ predecessors, like Benedict XVI and John Paul II, opposed the same-sex civil union.
Francis himself rejected proposals to recognize the same-sex civil union in Argentina while he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires a decade ago. Yet, he accepted some form of legislative security for gay couples’ rights.
However, soon after becoming Pope, he claimed gay people that ‘we must be brothers.’
He added: ‘If an individual is gay and wants God, and has goodwill, who am I to judge? Papal biographer Austen Ivereigh told Reuters that the statements made by the Pope in the film were some of the clearest words the pontiff had used since his election in 2013.
Papal biographer Austen Ivereigh told Reuters that, after his election in 2013, the Pope’s remarks made in the film were some of the clearest languages the pontiff has used on the subject.
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