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The reason I ask is because a documentary of Pope Francis' papacy was shown at the Rome Film Festival on October 21st. Some of the newspaper headlines I've seen seem rather inflammatory and so I am trying to get an official view on this subject.

This is a quote from the U.K. Daily Telegraph attributed to Pope Francis regarding the documentary (Francesco) that was shown:

"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 stand up for that."

What the newspaper article failed to say was when the Pope made this comment. When Pope Francis was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires he apparently opposed gay marriage but endorsed legal protection for the rights of gay people. Is the above quote related to this period of time?

It seems that Pope Francis gave approval to two gay men who have adopted three children to bring them up as Catholics (this in relation to the section of the film about Andrea Rubera and his partner Dario De Gregorio).

The newspaper article made this comment:

The endorsement of same-sex unions will have a huge impact in Africa, Asia and Latin America

It also pointed out that in some of those countries it can be a crime to engage in homosexual activities.

What is the official view of this documentary film about the papacy of Pope Francis in relation to the approval (or otherwise) of same-sex marriage and same-sex civil partnerships?

EDIT:This link is relevant: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis#LGBT

Update: See this recent Vatican statement (link provided by GratefulDisciple): https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/world/vatican-moves-to-clarify-popes-comments-on-civil-union-laws-515948/

I apologise for still being unable to copy and paste these links properly.

  • "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family." For one thing, these are two very, very different statements. – Sola Gratia Oct 24 at 14:35
  • In June 2013, Francis stated: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” He stated that he supports legally recognising same-sex civil unions in a statement from an interview published in October 2020; this passage was from an interview from 2019, but this passage had been cut from public releases at the time. “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. They're children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out of be made miserable because of it.” en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis#LGBT – Lesley Oct 24 at 15:09
  • According to the Wiki link provided, the statement from the 2019 interview (quoted above) "was also interpreted as supportive of LGBT adoption." It's all a bit of a muddle! – Lesley Oct 24 at 15:17
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    @SolaGratia As I suspect, Pope Francis's comments were taken out of context. See recent Vatican statement with the aforementioned note (in Spanish) here. – GratefulDisciple Nov 2 at 21:59
  • @GratefulDisciple - Many thanks for that link to the official Vatican statement which proves that the reporting was biased and inaccurate. Can we believe anything we read in newspapers or hear on television/radio these days? – Lesley Nov 3 at 8:31
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What is the official Catholic position on same-sex marriage and same-sex civil partnerships?

Let us keep in perspective that the words of Pope Francis were spoken when he was Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires (Argentina)!

The words quoted from Pope Francis do not change what Catholics believe about the Catholic position on same-sex marriage and same-sex civil partnerships.

We words quoted as coming from the present Sovereign Pontiff are merely his personal thoughts on this subject and do not alter the official stance of what the Church teaches on the subject.

The pope’s comment’s should not or even can be taken as an infallible Church statement. They ‘re not!

As in many statements made by various pope’s in various media postings, one begs to know how accurately the statement are to the actual words of the pope. In any case, the statement is far from an official statement on the part of the Catholic Church. Even Pope Francis seems the be saying that very fact on a personal level: ”That way they are legally covered. I stand up for that."

Off the cuff remarks, are often the hardest ones to get genuine interpretation, especially if a translation is involved.

Apparently, in October 2020, as pope, he did a make similar statement, as taken from Wikipedia:

He stated that he supports legally recognising same-sex civil unions in a statement from an interview published in October 2020; this passage was from an interview from 2019, but this passage had been cut from public releases at the time. The statement was also interpreted as supportive of LGBT adoption.

What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. They're children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out of be made miserable because of it.

It seems that Pope Francis is more to saying that in those countries which permit civil same-sex marriages that they should be legally covered by the state in question with the same rights as traditional marriages. He states nothing about sacramentally blessed marriages within the Church.

Why Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Is Impossible for Catholics

One of the key questions is that of same-sex “marriage.” Can Catholics ever endorse or allow same-sex “marriage”? If a secular government enacts legislation allowing two persons of the same sex to “marry,” there is little Catholics can do about it. We have good reasons for opposing same-sex “marriage” in society generally, but we have no power to impose those objections on others, and if the state approves same-sex “marriage,” all we can do is protest peacefully and assume a position — as we do with abortion — of tolerant resistance.

Those who disagree with Catholics on this issue should recognize and respect our position of tolerant resistance and attempt to understand why we are opposed.

We are not opposed to same-sex “marriage” because we hate homosexuals. We don’t “hate fags”; nor do we believe that God does. We don’t judge a person’s heart simply because he or she is attracted to persons of the same sex. The official teaching of the Catholic Church says homosexual persons “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (Catechism, 2358).

Are there some Catholics who are hateful bigots? Sure. There are people like that in all segments of society. They’re not only bad people, they’re bad Catholics.

However, when it comes to same-sex “marriage,” we are dealing not only with the question of homosexuality per se, but also of the Catholic sacraments. Those who disagree must therefore try to understand Catholic beliefs because the Catholic intransigence on the subject of same-sex “marriage” is not so much about homosexuality, but about the very foundation and core of the Catholic faith.

Catholic teaching is a unified, coherent and consistent body of thought that encompasses not only religious beliefs and behaviors, but also includes history, anthropology, political and economic theory, sexuality, cosmology and ecology. In other words, what we believe about God and humanity touches everything.

If we don’t allow same-sex weddings, we also don’t allow child brides, polygamy or remarriage after divorce for the same reason. We realize that others may disagree with our beliefs. We know members of other religions allow remarriage, child brides and polygamy. We also understand that other Christians and those with no belief may permit same-sex “marriage.” They may do so. We cannot stop them, but they should also realize that what their religion allows ours does not.

This doesn’t mean that we hate homosexuals, Muslims, Mormons, Episcopalians or atheists. It doesn’t mean that we are racists and bigots. We acknowledge that homosexual people may love one another. We can admit that if the law allows they may establish a civil union and live together. They may do as they please. They can even call what they do “marriage,” but that doesn’t make it marriage, and it certainly doesn’t make it a Catholic sacrament.

Catholic beliefs are not simply a matter of opinion; they are a matter of fact.

Even if we want to, we can’t change the essentials of the sacrament of marriage — not because we can’t change our beliefs, but because we can’t change facts.

Here follows what Catechism of the Catholic Church say on this matter:

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

For further information, the following articles may be of interest:

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  • Your first quote only says: We are against same-sex-civil-marriage. (But have to respect the decisions of the [democratic] state.) It does not say why or founds it on magsiterial teachings. The question of a "marriage in the Catholic sense" or "sacramental marriage" are maybe connected, but not identical to the question of a civil same-sex-marriage. And only about the latter the question asks. – K-HB Oct 23 at 7:18
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    @K-HB I believe this "We can admit that if the law allows they may establish a civil union and live together. They may do as they please. They can even call what they do “marriage,” but that doesn’t make it marriage," from Ken's answer does address civil marriage. – Mike Borden Oct 23 at 11:10
  • Ken, thanks for these latest edits and links. I don't have time to read them tonight, but will do so on Sunday. – Lesley Oct 24 at 16:49
  • Although my post "refers to a rapidly changing event" and more information may be forthcoming, this answer clearly gives the official view of the Church with regard to same-sex marriage and same-sex civil partnerships - which is what I asked for. – Lesley Oct 26 at 10:21

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