Pope Francis said ‘homosexual marriage is a contradiction’ in the same breath as calling for same-sex civil unions
There was global jubilation when Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions in a new documentary – but a full transcript confirms his comments didn’t go quite as far as many would hope.
Pope Francis, who has made numerous conflicting statements about LGBT+ rights since he became leader of the Catholic Church in 2013, was widely praised when he appeared to endorse civil unions in a new documentary that premiered on Wednesday (October 21).
In the documentary, titled Francesco, Pope Francis said: “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.”
He added: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
However, it has since emerged that the Pope’s comments were actually made in an old interview, conducted in 2019 with Valentina Alazraki, a correspondent with Mexican television station Televisa, and that director Evgeny Afineevsky was not granted time with Pope Francis by the Vatican while making his documentary.
Furthermore, the complete transcript of the interview has shown that the Pope’s comments were cherry-picked from the wider interview, and may have given the impression that Pope Francis was more accepting of LGBT+ relationships than he actually is.
Pope Francis said ‘homosexual marriage’ would be a ‘contradiction’ while voicing his support for civil union law.
The transcript, seen by Catholic News Service, shows that Pope Francis did indeed lend his support to a “law of civil cohabitation” for same-sex couples.
Pope Francis went on to bring up his response to a question posed by a journalist in August 2018, when he was asked what he would say to a parent whose child came out as gay.
It is a contradiction to speak of homosexual marriage.
At the time, he said parents should “ask for help” if they can’t deal with it and said LGBT+ people have “a right to a family”.
In his 2019 interview with Alazraki, the Pope paraphrased his earlier response and said he was upset that a newspaper had suggested he was in favour of conversion therapy when he made controversial comments about psychiatry.
He went on to voice his view that marriage between a man and a woman is fundamentally different to a union between two people of the same gender.
Francis continued: “I am a conservative,” when asked about his view on church teachings.
“I’ve always defended doctrine. And it is curious about the law on homosexual marriage – it is a contradiction to speak of homosexual marriage.”
He then went on to voice his support for the idea of civil unions for same-sex couples – a legal framework that many countries have long since left behind in favour of marriage equality.
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Pope Francis has had a chequered history with the LGBT+ community.
In 2013, he made global headlines when he called on the Catholic church to “show mercy, not condemnation” to gay people – representing a stark shift in tone from his predecessors.
But in 2019, he told a Spanish newspaper that parents who see signs of homosexuality in their children should “consult a professional” – a comment that was considered by many to endorse conversion therapy.
Meanwhile, he has been staunch in his opposition to trans identities, comparing them to nuclear war and genetic manipulation in 2015.
In 2019, the Vatican released a document claiming that “gender ideology” is a “move away from nature”.
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