Pope Francis said in a film released on Wednesday that homosexuals should be protected by civil law in some of the clearest language he has used about gay rights.
“Gay people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God and have the right to a family. No one should be thrown out or made miserable over it,” says Pope Francis in the documentary “Francesco” by Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky.
“What we need to create is a civil union law. That way, they are legally covered. I stood up for it,” he said.
The pope seemed to be referring to when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires and was against same-sex marriage legislation, but supported some form of legal protection for the rights of gay couples.
The papal cinema Austen Ivereigh told Reuters that the pope’s comments in the film were some of the clearest language the pope has used on the subject since his election in 2013.
The pope, who early in his papacy made the now famous “Who shall I judge?” remark about gays trying to live a Christian life spoke in an episode of the film about Andrea Rubera, a gay man who along with his partner adopted three children.
Rubera says in the film that he went to a morning Mass, as the pope said at his residence in the Vatican, and gave him a letter explaining his situation.
He told the pope that he and his partner wanted to bring the children up as Catholics in the local parish but did not want to cause any trauma to the children. It was not clear in which country Rubera lives.
Rubera said the pope called him several days later and told him he thought the letter was “beautiful” and urged the couple to introduce their children to the parish but to be ready for opposition.
“His message and his advice were really helpful because we did exactly what he told us. This is the third year that they (the children) are on a spiritual path in the parish,” Rubera says in the film.
“He did not mention what his view of my family was, so (I think) he follows the doctrine on this point, but the attitude towards people has changed massively,” he said.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful, but homosexual acts are. It teaches that homosexuals must be treated with dignity.