A new feature-length documentary named “Francesco” premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday. The documentary includes an interview with Pope Francis, and some of the remarks he made during the interview are getting a lot of attention.
For the first time, Pope Francis gave the thumbs-up to same-sex civil unions. He said, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. 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.”
This is not the first time Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions, but it is the first time since he has become Pope. When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions as an alternative to marriage for same-sex couples.
Reverend James Martin, a Jesuit priest, believes that Francis’ comments are a huge step forward for same-sex couples. In a statement, Martin said, “The Pope’s speaking positively about civil unions also sends a strong message to places where the church has opposed such laws.”
“Francesco” is about much more than same-sex civil unions. The documentary explores many issues that are important to the Pope including race, discrimination, poverty, income inequality, migration and the environment. His comments about civil unions occur about half-way through the film.
For more about Pope Francis’ comments in this new documentary, watch the video below.
A document from the Vatican from 2003 states that while the Catholic church respects gays, they do not approve of homosexual behavior and they do not recognize homosexual relationships. The Pope’s comments in this new documentary seem to signal change.
Do you find the Pope’s comments about same-sex civil unions surprising?