Huge reaction to Pope Francis' support of civil union laws for same-sex couples

The Archbishop of San Francisco has likened civil unions to the relationship between a brother and a sister.

A man in Pope's robes waves his hand

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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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