Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Pope Francis Opens Door To Same Séx Unions?
Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's
opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but
suggested in a newspaper chat that it could
support some types of civil unions. The Pope
reiterated the church's teaching that "marriage is
between a man and a woman." However, he said,
"We have to look at different cases and evaluate
them in their variety."
States, for instance, justify civil unions as a way
to provide financial security to cohabitating
couples, the Pope said in a wide-ranging
interview published Wednesday in an Italian
daily. State-sanctioned unions are thus driven by
the need to ensure rights like access to health
care, Francis added.
A number of Catholic Bishops have supported
civil unions for same-sex couples, including Pope
Francis when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires
in 2010, according to reports in National Catholic
Reporter and The New York Times.
Behind closed doors, pope supported civil unions
in Argentina, activist says...
But Wednesday's comments are "the first time a
Pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of
civil unions," according to Catholic News Service.
Pope Francis, who marks his first year in office
on March 13, has sought to set a more tolerant
tone for his 1 billion-member church and
suggested that a broad range of topics are at least
open for discussion.
Last January, Pope Francis recalled a little girl in
Buenos Aires who told her teacher that she was
sad because "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like
"The situation in which we live now provides us
with new challenges which sometimes are
difficult for us to understand," the Pope told
leaders of religious orders, adding that the church
"must be careful not to administer a vaccine
against faith to them."
The Vatican later denied that those comments
signaled an opening toward same-séx unions.
Last June, Pope Francis famously refused to
judge gay priests in comments that ricocheted
around the world. He has also said that the
church should not "interfere" in the spiritual lives
of gays and lesbians.
In this latest interview, Francis also addressed
several other controversial issues, including the
Catholic Church's ban on contraception, the role
of women and the devastating clergy séxual
On contraception, the Pope praised Pope Paul VI
for having the "courage" to "go against the
majority" when restating the ban in 1968. But he
added, the church must be "merciful" and
"attentive to concrete situations."
Contraception and church's ban on divorced
Catholics receiving holy communion, will likely
be addressed at major meetings of Catholic
bishops in Rome in 2014 and 2015.
“We must give a response. But to do so, we must
reflect much in depth,” the Pope said