The Catholic Pontiff has reportedly given his support to gay unions in “civil” context.
According to the BBC, Pope Francis said in a documentary that he thinks homosexuals should be allowed to have “civil unions.”
Reportedly, the Head of the Holy See justified his position by saying that homosexuals too are children of God.
“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family,” he is reported to have said in a film, which premiered on Wednesday.
“They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.”
He is quoted to have added that he “stood up for that”, apparently referring to when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires and, although opposing same-sex marriages in law, he supported some legal protections for the rights of same-sex couples.
The BBC notes that Pope Francis’ position is a departure from an earlier position he held on gay marriages and the law of the Vatican, as well as positions held by his predecessors.
The film Francesco, about the life and work of Pope Francis, premiered as part of the Rome Film Festival, the BBC reports. The documentary is said to have been directed by Evgeny Afineevsky .
As well as the Pope’s comments on civil unions, the film is also said to have shown him encouraging two gay men to raise their children in a parish church.
In 2013, in the book On Heaven and Earth, the Pope said that legally equating same-sex relationships to heterosexual marriages would be “an anthropological regression”.
He also said then that if same-sex couples were allowed to adopt, “there could be affected children… every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity”.
The following year it was reported that Pope Francis had expressed support for civil unions for same-sex partners in an interview, but the Holy See’s press office denied this.
Then in 2018, Pope Francis said he was “worried” about homosexuality in the clergy, and that it was “a serious matter”.