Pope Francis Endorses Same-Sex Civil Unions In His Latest Documentary

"Who am I to judge?" he once said in a 2013 interview.

Cover image via ABC News & New York Times

Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse homosexual civil unions in a film that premiered at the Rome Film Festival

Image via Vatican News

As reported by the Associated PressFrancesco is directed by Oscar-nominated Evgeny Afineevsky and features interviews with Pope Francis.

In the film, the pope talks about issues regarding the environment, poverty, migration, inequality, and discrimination.

"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," he said in one of the interviews.

"You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."

His stance was praised and celebrated by liberals and progressives worldwide

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via New York Times

Jesuit priest Fr James Martin told Reuters, "It shows his overall pastoral approach to LGBTQ people, including those who are Catholic, and sends a clear message to those bishops and Church leaders who have opposed such laws."

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, an organisation that advocates justice for LGBT Catholics, hailed Francis' comments as a "historic moment" in a statement.

However, his remarks also stirred up conservative contemporaries who demand clarification

Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin.

Image via The Boston Globe

Diocese of Providence Thomas Tobin stated: "The pope's statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the church about same-sex unions."

"The church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships," Bishop Tobin added.

Ed Mechmann, director of public policy of the Archdiocese of New York stated on their website that the Pope has made a "serious mistake"

"Unfortunately, supporting the legal recognition of any kind of same-sex union is contrary to Church teaching."

Pope Francis once said that gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society

Image via New York Times

According to BBC, he asserted the Catholic Church's position that while homosexual acts were sinful, homosexual orientation was not.

"If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?" he said during a flight from Brazil in 2013 when asked about gay priests.

Watch a clip of the film where Pope Francis voices his thoughts here:

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