The Vatican has officially denied claims made by Italian media that Pope Francis is in favour of civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.
In November 2013, the Pope spoke to Italian Jesuit magazine, La Civiltà Cattolica. In the interview he stated that new challenges are arising for children of same-sex and divorced couples “which sometimes are difficult to understand.”
He continued, “How can we proclaim Christ to these boys and girls? How can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing? We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them.”
Italian newspapers ran the story, interpreting his comments as a signal that the Catholic church may support the legal recognition of same-sex civil unions in Italy.
Spokesperson for the Vatican, Fr Federico Lombardi denied the headlines while speaking on Vatican radio, and said that the Pope’s words were manipulated and taken out of context.
He explained that the Pope was talking about “Education and the proclamation of the faith naturally can’t ignore that reality and must be attentive to the good of the new generations.” He slammed newspapers for not understanding the comments in the right context, as he says it was “fairly obvious”.
He continued, saying the Pope was “alluding to the suffering of children” and “absolutely did not express himself” on the current political situation in Italy.
Pope Francis was named Person of the Year by both TIME and gay interest magazine The Advocate in 2013 for his views on homosexuality and corruption in the Church.
Read Rob Buchanan’s opinion about The Advocate’s naming of Pope Frances as Person of the Year here.
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