Pope Francis Calls for Civil Union Between Same-Sex Couples

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"They are now hearing this message from the Pope, and I think it can be life-saving and affirming for those people", said Butler. They are children of God and have a right to a family. "Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it", Francis says.

Pope Francis' endorsement of same-sex civil unions drew mixed reactions Thursday in the Philippines, Asia's bastion of Catholicism, with a retired bishop saying he was scandalized by it while an LGBT group welcomed the pontiff's remarks with relief. "We've got to protect their rights, we've got to help them flourish", she said, emphasizing the importance of Catholics using "prudential judgment in how we honor life". "I stood up for that", he said.

Pope Francis endorsement of same-sex unions has divided opinion on various social media platforms.

Francis's steps to reach out to LGBT people did not constitute a fundamental shift in church teaching, Time noted.

Stansberry shared similar thoughts on Wednesday, saying Pope Francis has a penchant for being more candid than previous popes.

However this does not mean that the comments of the Pope in the current documentary are of no importance.

The Catholic Church has long resisted the idea that same-sex couples should enjoy legal protection.

'With focus on COVID it's important we don't miss big positive events in the world around us.

'It represents momentous leadership and will hopefully be a catalyst for change throughout the Church'.

Francis' remarks seem to undercut the policies of some Catholic institutions prohibiting employees from entering into same-sex marriages. And they think his words could have wider implications.

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The movie examines his support for migrants and refugees, the poor, and his work on the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

Prelates who are considered conservative have also spoken out in favor of civil unions. "Because that son and daughter has a right to family, and their family is this family, just as it is".

"Catholics who live in communion with what the church teaches understand that marriage is written into the law of nature", Burch said. So, let's call them "civil unions'".

In a televised press briefing from Malacañang Palace, the seat of the Philippines' government, a spokesperson confirmed that the "recognition of same-sex union has always been supported" by president Rodrigo Duterte.

'Although they do not authorise blessings of these unions, thanksgiving liturgies are increasingly common at grass-roots parish levels.

"It's cruelty, and separating kids from parents goes against natural rights", the pope said, adding, "it's something a Christian can not do".

Again DeBernardo argues that Francis would have used the word "couples" rather than "families" if he hadn't intended that wider meaning.

However, conservative Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, called for clarification. "The church can not support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships".

It's not the first time Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions publicly as he previously endorsed the union as an alternative to gay marriage while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Then, he launched what gay activists remember as a "war of God" against Argentina's move to approve same-sex marriage.

Doing so, the Vatican reasoned, would not only condone "deviant behavior", but create an equivalence to marriage, which the church holds is an indissoluble union between man and woman. It's the nature of things. "These are people that have not felt welcome in other places".

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