Pope Francis publicly declared that he is in support of civil unions between same-sex couples, however, his views regrading marriage seem to remain unchanged.
By Annika Henthorn
On October 21st, the documentary, Francesco aired at the Rome Film Festival for the first time. The Pope, according to CNN, reportedly spoke of members of the LGBTQ+ community as “Children of God,” adding that “we have to create a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.” This stirred great upheaval in the Church from those opposed and those in support of it.
Due to the mass confusion caused by the Pope’s statement, the Vatican Secretary of State released a statement to its ambassadors in hopes of providing clarification for the statements made. According to The New York Times, the apostolic nuncio of Mexico, Franco Coppola, posted this note to Facebook. The note’s legitimacy was later confirmed by a Vatican official.
The note explained how these statements were based on two separate questions in an interview in 2019. It was incorrectly “edited and published as a single answer without proper contextualization, which has led to confusion,” according to the note. Director of Francesco, Evgeny Afineevsky claimed the Pope explicitly told him his views on same-sex union; however, it was later found that these comments originated from an interview with Televisia, a Mexican broadcaster, according to The New York Times. It is still unknown who edited these false statements.
CNN argues that rather than legalizing same-sex union, the Pope was simply referring to some type of legal protection by law. The note specifically states that “it is clear that Pope Francis was referring to certain provisions made by states, and certainly not to the doctrine of the Church, which he has reaffirmed numerous times over the years."
Controversy also ignited by the Pope’s comment that: "Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They're children of God and have a right to a family." This was thought by many that the Pope supported the union of same-sex unions. However, according to CNN, he was simply stating that although same-sex marriage should not be allowed, gay couples should not be discriminated against because they are still “within the family."
After watching the film aired in Rome, many people were stirred by the Pope’s controversial comments. However, his views remain unchanged besides his beliefs that same-sex couples should be protected by civil law, without altering the doctrine.
Melanie Moyer '22,