The Head of the Catholic Church and Head of State of the Vatican City State, Pope Francis has thrown his support behind same-sex civil unions in a documentary titled Francesco.
According to Pope Francis, “Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” he said in the documentary. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it.”
Stressing on his intimations for the need for the LGBTQ community to have civil unions, Pope Francis noted that “what we have to create is a civil union law,” adding that “that way, they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
Pope Francis comments have, however, been welcomed by a glee from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue.
Consequently, his advocacy call for same-sex civil unions marks a huge departure from the Vatican’s past positions as his predecessors have all stood against the ideology.
This is the first time that Pope Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions as the Pope although, during his regime as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis advocated for civil unions for gay couples as a proxy for same-sex marriages.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC, Pope Francis’s biographer, Austen Ivereigh, told the revealed he was “not surprised” by the latest comments of the 83-year-old.
“This was his position as Archbishop of Buenos Aires,” said Mr Ivereigh. “He was always opposed to marriage being for same-sex couples. But he believed the church should advocate for a civil union law for gay couples to give them legal protection.”
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Francesco was directed by Oscar-nominated film producer, Evgeny Afineevsky, who characterizes the Pope as the great connector.
The documentary touches on a number of global issues, including racism, climate change, sexual abuse, migration, human trafficking, politics, and relations between Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
The documentary also focuses on the Pope’s extreme misunderstanding of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis, and his public conciliatory sentiment with respect to the issue.
Francesco highlights the story of a gay man, Andrea Rubera, who adopted three children with his partner and hopes to bring them up in the Church.
Furthermore, it features the account of Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean survivor of clergy sexual abuse, who says that during his first meetings with the Pope in 2018, Francis consoled him that God made him gay.