Pope Francis has called for the creation of civil union laws that would help same-sex couples create families as “children of God,” challenging a previous conclusion by the Catholic Church that endorsing such unions would be an “approval of deviant behavior.”
“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” Francis said in a documentary, called “Francesco,” that premiered Wednesday in Rome, the Catholic News Agency reported.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that,” Francis, whose comments came as he reflected on pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT, added.
The documentary by Oscar-nominated Director Evgeny Afineevsky, which highlights the life and ministry of Pope Francis, is set to make its North American premiere on Sunday.
Francis has previously expressed support for same-sex civil unions. During his tenure as archbishop of Buenos Aires, he advocated for same-sex civil unions in a bid to block a same-sex marriage law. Argentina legalized same-sex marriage in 2010.
In 2003, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and at the direction of Pope John Paul II made it clear that same-sex civil unions cannot be supported by the church.
“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. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society,” the document said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair