Photo by Riccardo De Luca – Update via Shutterstock

Pope Francis called for civil union laws to be granted towards same-sex couples, according to a newly released documentary detailing his life and ministry. 

According to the Catholic News Agency, the pope in a segment of the new documentary, titled “Francesco,” stated the church needs to create a civil union for same-sex couples.

“That way they are legally covered,” Francis said in reference to his stance towards the LGBTQ community. 

“I stood up for that.” 

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family,” he said. “They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it.”

“Francesco,” a documentary by Oscar-nominated director, EvengenyAfneesky, premiered on Oct. 21 at the Rome Film Festival and explored the life, actions, and beliefs of the pope on both a personal and papal level. 

Notably, the film surveyed and enumerated the various attitudes and ideas the Pope has towards the world’s compounding issues and his desired approaches towards helping the underprivileged.

Needless to say, the Pope’s stance towards the LGBTQ community is somewhat unorthodox within the Catholic Church, and has made him a bit of an iconoclast within the clergy, with the catechism of the Catholic church still stating under his papacy that “Homosexuality … (is an act) of grave depravity, (and) … Under no circumstances can (it) be approved.” 

Many of the Catholic clergies are diametrically opposed to the Pope’s stances.

In addition, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI, said that legal recognition of either homosexual unions or marriages would be an immoral approval of “deviant behavior,” and would likely irreparably undermine the basic tenants of human morality. 

The pope himself has never called for the official recognition of homosexual marriages by the Catholic church, nor legal recognition from any sovereign state. This, perhaps, suggests diplomatic neutrality the pope hopes to create between traditional Catholic Church beliefs and the more modern values of the contemporary era.

Political figures across the aisle seem to exhibit a full-bodied spectrum of reactions, regarding the event, from the enthralled to the more or less inflamed. 

“It is a historic moment when the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, long seen as a persecutor of LGBTQ people, moves in such a supportive direction for lesbian/gay couples and their families,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of a Catholic LGBTQ advocacy group, New Ways Ministry, in dialogue with Buzzfeed

“It is no overstatement to say that with this statement not only has the pope protected LGBTQ couples and families, but he also will save many LGBTQ lives.” 

Perhaps located on a more central vantage, Jesuit Preist, Father James Martin, author of “Building a Bridge,” a book about bridging differences between the LGBTQ community and the Catholic church, in an interview with Reuters said, “ Pope Francis’ clear and public support for same-sex civil unions marks a new stage in the church’s relationship with LGBTQ people.”

Martin further went on to state that this move sent a clear message to Christians who opposed the laws, and underscored the Pope’s compassion and pioneering stance toward the LBGTQ community.

In marked contrast, Catholic author and outspoken critic of the Pope, Phil Lawler, had a different take.

In conversation with the Daily Caller, Lawler stated that: 

“(Pope Francis is) spreading confusion among the faithful— and in the world at large,” Lawler said.

“He has affirmed the Church’s teaching that marriage can only be a union between a man and a woman, yet at the same time he has undermined that teaching with a public statement that encourages people in the mistaken belief that eventually the Church will take another step and accept same-sex marriage,” he said.

Lawler concluded with the contention that the Pope’s comments and stances are of political and diplomatic origin, and should not at all reflect the teachings of the Catholic church. 

Written ByDaniel Seidman

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