Pope Francis reportedly called for a “civil union law” for same-sex couples in a documentary that premiered Wednesday.
“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the documentary “Francesco,” according to the Catholic News Agency. The documentary premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival and will premiere in the U.S. on Sunday.
Discussing civil unions for same-sex couples, the pope reportedly continued: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “contrary to the natural law,” and are approved “under no circumstances.”
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,’” the Catechism said.
“The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible,” the Catechism continued. “This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
Progressive activists hailed the move as a step towards greater acceptance of the LGBTQ community in the church.
“This is a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBTQ people,” Jesuit James Martin tweeted.
Breaking: This is a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBTQ people.
Pope Francis: “What we have to create is a civil union law,” he said. “That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”https://t.co/wscr7u3HRZ
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) October 21, 2020
“Let’s only do Jesuit popes from this point forward, please,” tweeted HuffPost reporter Ryan Reilly.
“The Catholic Church is evolving,” tweeted Democratic Speak of the House Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine Pelosi. “Not yet where we need to be on love and #LGBTQ equality but this is a welcome and tremendous step forward from @pontifex.“
Phil Lawler, a Catholic author and critic of the pope, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Pope Francis is “spreading confusion among the faithful— and in the world at large.”
“He has affirmed the Church’s teaching that marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman,” Lawler said. “Yet at the same time he has undermined that teaching with a public statement that encourages people in the mistaken belief that eventually the Church will take another step and accept same-sex marriage.”
Lawler said that the pope’s comments endorse a “political proposal,” saying that it is “prudent to recognize civil unions in order to protect the civil rights of homosexuals.”
“That’s a prudential judgment, on a political question,” Lawler said. “Since the Pope has no special authority in political matters, and prudential political judgments are the realm of the laity, his statement is not a matter of Catholic teaching.”
The Catholic author added that Pope Francis’s comment is “sure to generate headlines” suggesting that Catholic teaching has changed.
“Surely Pope Francis knew the sort of reaction his statement would cause,” Lawler said. “Yet he made the statement anyway. Why? It’s increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that Pope Francis wants to cause confusion.”
The Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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