In a documentary that premiered Wednesday in Rome, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples, departing from the position of the Vatican’s doctrinal office and the pope’s predecessors on the issue.
The remarks came amid a portion of the documentary that reflected on pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT.
“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film, of his approach to pastoral care.
After those remarks, and in comments likely to spark controversy among Catholics, Pope Francis weighed in directly on the issue of civil unions for same-sex couples.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”
This is a stunning development, and it is important to see how this affects Catholics world wide. It should not be seen solely as a rebuke of what is going on with the United States Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett nor should it be seen as another attack on Trump. But it helps!
People downplaying the pope’s words, on camera, endorsing civil unions for gay couples should ask LGBT Catholics how the remarks make them feel. Having just spent months researching the Vatican’s statements on LGBT issues in the 1980s for my book, I assure you this is big news.— Michael J. O'Loughlin (@MikeOLoughlin) October 21, 2020