Mixed reaction to Pope’s support of same-sex civil unions

FILE – In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Mauro Cioffari, left, puts a wedding ring on his partner Davide Conti’s finger as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome’s Campidoglio Capitol Hill. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday, Oct. 21 2020 at the Rome Film Festival. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, file)

SAVANNAH, Ga.(WSAV) – Pope Francis is courting controversy once again. This time by supporting civil unions for same-sex couples.

In the documentary ‘Francesco’ the pope says quote “what we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

A member of the City of Savannah’s new LGBTQ+ Task Force, Dusty Church says the Pope’s full message which uses the antiquated term “homosexuals” isn’t perfect, but it offers hope. “Just like we want our families to recognized and acknowledged our relationships, it certainly matters to feel like your faith leaders and your church acknowledges and celebrates your relationships.” Not everyone is celebrating. A Rhode Island Bishop writes that the pope’s words quote “clearly contradicts long standing teaching of the church,” and that it “cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships.”

However, the director of the documentary, Evgeny Afineevsky, says the pope isn’t talking about church doctrine. “He did not try to change the doctrine of the church, he was talking that the people should not be discriminated”

In a statement given to WSAV, Bishop Stephen Parkes of the Diocese of Savannah said:

“On October 21, 2020 it was reported that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, made comments in the context of a secular documentary film regarding same-sex civil unions. Please note that these comments do not constitute a definitive teaching on the matters of faith and morals that we hold near and dear as Catholics and do not alter Church teaching on marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1660) states the marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator.
The Holy Father does not use secular documentaries to communicate and offer definitive teaching on issues of faith and morals”

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