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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Pope Comes Out for Civil Unions

Whoa.  In a breathtaking departure from Catholic teaching up till now, Pope Francis has unofficially stated his approval of civil unions for gay couples.  The Catholic News Agency reports:

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.”

The remarks come in “Francesco,” a documentary on the life and ministry of Pope Francis which premiered Oct. 21 as part of the Rome Film Festival, and is set to make its North American premiere on Sunday.

Well, I'm stunned, and I'm not even Catholic.  However, it does seem in line with Pope Francis's kindly personality and humane approach to pastoral issues.  For us Americans, this change of tune comes a bit late; but then no doubt in some other, less-evolved societies, people may feel it comes too soon.  Be that as it may, we'll take it, and I for one will count Pope Francis as a "gay ally" from here on out.

Don't reject goodwill or friendship just because it doesn't arrive on your timetable.  Despite the incessant gay-hooray of American media, the fact remains that we are a tiny minority of the population both here and all around the world.  (You can look it up for yourself.)  And who knows what the legal and judicial atmosphere will be after this election.  

We need all the friends we can get, fellas.  And we don't have to be Catholic to realize that Francis has done a beautiful thing:  he has affirmed that we gays are human beings, after all, and children of God - just like everybody else.  Our essential humanity, our right to exist, does not, of course, depend on his say-so; but coming from the Pope, this will open some hearts that have been hitherto closed against us.  

Thank you, Your Holiness.


Update:  See my post from 3/13/21, Pope Francis Nixes Gay Unions.



Frank said...

The conservative, Ratzinger faction of the RC Church is already asking for "clarification" or if they be truthful, an outright denial. Will they declare Papa Francesco a heretic? And can they excommunicate a Pope? My Catholic education has no answer to those questions.

Russ Manley said...

Way back in the Middle Ages, there was a time when 2 or 3 popes were contending for supremacy, wasn't there? I saw in the YT comments today somebody saying that Francis is "not even pope." The thought being that a pope cannot resign, so Ratzinger is still the real pope and Francis is the fake pope.

OMG do people never tire of arguing, fighting, and making shit up?

Frank said...

You are correct about rival "Popes" way back when...but never thought it could happen in modern times. The conservatives gained momentum with John Paul II and Benedict and took the opportunity to try steering the Church away from the reforms of John XXIII. They hated the newfangled rubrics and theologies coming out of Vatican 2. With the current situation of have "two Popes" they have definitely taken sides. Seems a lot like political parties and politicians.

Russ Manley said...

Yes, and our human nature to take sides - Us vs. Them. Sad.

Davis said...

Sad to say he's already walking it back. A dear friend, who is sometimes out of line said - "it's what abusers do - they you one thing and then deny it and go on". He may be right.

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