There has been a huge reaction across the world to the release of a documentary interview in which Pope Francis called for civil union laws for same-sex couples.
While being interviewed by filmmaker, Evgeny Afineevsky, for the documentary Francesco, Pope Francis shared, “Homosexuals have the right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be rejected or marginalised because of it. What we need to work on is a civil union law. They have the right to be protected under the law.”
— Ailbhe Smyth (@ailbhes) October 21, 2020
While many praised Pope Francis in his call for civil union laws, others pointed out he didn’t specifically use the word “marriage” in relation to same-sex couples.
His words have obviously caused a stir within the Catholic Church itself, with the Archbishop of San Francisco already likening civil unions to a relationship between a brother and a sister.
"The Pope’s remarks may not immediately translate into stronger protections for LGBT people, but they offer a powerful reminder that LGBT families deserve respect and recognition at a time when that fact is too often ignored." https://t.co/QBT9ssfXEm pic.twitter.com/aIPh2yLOn1
— Ryan Thoreson (@ryanthoreson) October 21, 2020
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who only this week performed an exorcism at the site of a toppled statue, said in a statement to the SF Chronicle, “The Holy Father clearly differentiated between a civil arrangement which accords mutual benefits to two people, and marriage. The former, he said, can in no way be equated to marriage, which remains unique.”
At least a step forward. Hopefully this will start giving homophobes & bigots a hard time when they claim they hate same sex couples cause 'the Church says so'. #PopeFrancis #LGBTQIAfamily 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/thSC8jyuxQ
— Gianluca Tettamanti (@capitangian) October 21, 2020
The Archbishop, who has shared staunchly anti same-sex marriage views in the past, continued, “I would add that a civil union of this type (one which is not equated to marriage) should be as inclusive as possible, and not be restricted to two people of the same sex in a presumed sexual relationship.
“There is no reason, for example, why a brother and a sister, both of whom are unmarried and support each other, should not have access to these kinds of benefits.”
I appreciate the gesture, but he also needs to acknowledge that many countries have already moved on with marriage equality and say that that is okay too. Separate but equal is no longer the one TBH. https://t.co/fBGrDSbGko
— Love, Wolfie 🏳️🌈 (@Golden_Gaytime) October 21, 2020
While in the Philippines, Retired Bishop Arturo Bastes shared, “This is a shocking statement coming from the pope. I am really scandalised by his defence of homosexual union, which surely leads to immoral acts.”
I always thought he might be a good egg and different from the previous two popes and it’s nice to see in some ways he very much is. Let’s hope his goodness can filter through the magesterium #PapaFrancesco https://t.co/dzVFlQVXbL
— Conor J Buggy (@DrConorB) October 21, 2020
On the other hand, many have praised this huge step forward for inclusivity and small show of support from the head of a Catholic Church which has long victimised and demonised the LGBTQ+ community.
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