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22nd Oct 2020

Pope Francis voices support for gay unions in challenge to church orthodoxy

Wayne Farry

I don’t think any of us expected him to say that

Pope Francis has challenged the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church by becoming the first pontiff in history to give his support for same-sex civil unions.

The revelation, which will likely receive a mixed reaction among more conservative followers of the Catholic Church, came during a documentary called Francesco, which premiered at the ongoing Rome Film Festival.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said in the film.

“You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

While Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis – whose real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio – he opposed gay marriage, but is said to have supported the idea of civil unions for homosexual couples.

While his comments suggest a softening approach to homosexuality and, well, the modern world, they do directly contradict the Vatican’s doctrinal body, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In 2003 the congregation said that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions”.