Pope Francis, in Shift for Church, Voices Support for Same-Sex Civil Unions
The comments, made in a new documentary, are the strongest yet from a pontificate that has taken a more tolerant and inclusive tone.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” Francis said amid remarks in which he otherwise reiterated his support for gay people as children of God. “I stood up for that.”
It was not immediately clear when Francis made those remarks, but Evgeny Afineevsky, the director of the documentary, ‘‘Francesco,’’ said that Francis made the remarks directly to him for the film.
Church teaching considers homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered” and the church is opposed to gay marriage.
In 2003, under the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, the church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then led by the future Pope Benedict XVI, issued “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons,” in which it wrote, “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”
Matteo Bruni, a spokesman for the Vatican, declined to comment until he had seen the movies and the pope’s remarks.