Published: Thursday, Oct. 22nd, 2020

Pope Francis speaks out in support of same-sex civil unions in new documentary

Photo from Getty Images

Wednesday, Pope Francis became the first pontiff to offer public support for same-sex civil unions. Taken from a new documentary titled “Francesco” that was released Wednesday, the endorsement marks a strong break from the Vatican’s official teachings and stance. 


And although we wish he would just say ‘marriage’ already (seriously), this is still good news. The Pope’s comments have elicited celebration (as well as cautious optimism) from open minded Catholics and LGBTQ+ communities, and their friends and families.


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


“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way, they are legally covered. I stood up for that,” he continues.


This direct support of legal protections and recognition for same-sex partnerships is a notable shift from the Pope’s previous comments on the topic. While he’s often been more accepting than popes of the past, (as an archbishop, Francis suggested civil unions as an alternate option to same-sex marriage) he’s never come out publicly in favor of civil unions. And historically, the Catholic Church has a storied history of abuse and bigotry. 


This public declaration will absolutely shake things up, in a big way, both inside and outside the Church, and in religious communities and countries around the world. 


It’s also worth mentioning that Italy already has civil unions, and that the Pope still hasn’t endorsed marriage equality or same-sex marriages. But this step forward is an important one toward inclusion and acceptance within the Roman Catholic Church. 


The new documentary, “Francesco,” was presented at the Rome Film Festival and makes its North American debut at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival on Sunday, Oct 25th. Tickets to the streamed festival are on sale for those who want to watch the film in its entirety. The documentary explores the life and ministry of the Pope, and details his perspective on many of the urgent social issues of our time. 


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