In the strongest move ever yet by the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis seems to have thrown his support behind gay couples. The statements were made while the Pope was being filmed for a documentary called Francesco, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. Afineevsky, who hasn’t yet made clear exactly when the Pope made the pro-LGBT comments, said that the Pope told him these things directly. What did the Pope say, though?
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” Francis said about gay couples. He also called gay couples “children of God,” who “have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it.” These statements are huge and follow in a long line of statements made by Pope Francis to be more inclusive of LGBT people and LGBT Catholics more generally.
Indeed, Pope Francis is considered to be one of the most inclusive Popes of all time and has pushed the boundaries of the religion to bring in more worshipers into the fold. And his statements, although they haven’t been commented on by the Vatican, represent a much more tolerant bent than his predecessors, especially Pope John Paul II, who issued a doctrine alongside future Pope Benedict XVI saying that, “The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to the approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”
Obviously, the Pope saying that civil unions are a necessity for LGBT families is a direct refutation of that 2003 doctrine. And for Catholic families who might be LGBT, it’s a huge win in recognition of their humanity.