The Vatican

Vatican clarifies Pope's remarks on same-sex unions

David Fernández Alonso-November 4, 2020-Reading time: 3 minutes

The Vatican Secretariat of State has sent a communicated to the Apostolic Nunciatures of all countrieswith clarifications regarding the Pope Francis' statements on civil unions for homosexual personsrecently published in the documentary "Francesco".to be disseminated among the bishops.

On October 21, the documentary "Francesco", directed by the Russian filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky. In the film, the Pope makes some statements about homosexual unions, which are offered out of context, since they are excerpts from an interview given a year ago.

The media have echoed the communiqué of the Secretariat of State, made public by several bishops, which clarifies the words of the pontiff. Declarations that had generated different reactions and interpretations, since were issued as a stand-alone statementwithout the context of the conversation and the interviewer's questions.

Statements out of context

During the interview, Pope Francis answered two different questions at two different times. In the documentary were edited and published as a single response without proper contextualization.. The Holy Father, at first, had made a pastoral reference to a need within the family, the son or daughter with homosexual orientation is never discriminated against. This is what he means when he states that "Homosexual persons have the right to be in a family; they are children of God, they have the right to a family. No one can be thrown out of the family or make life impossible for that reason.".

The communiqué made public, among others, by the Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, Msgr. Franco Coppola, on his social media profile, refers to the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family. Amoris laetitiawhich can shed light on some of the expressions we refer to: "Together with the Synod Fathers, I have taken into consideration the situation of families who live the experience of having in their midst persons with homosexual tendencies, an experience that is not easy either for the parents or for their children. For this reason, we wish first of all to reiterate that every person, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, must be respected in his or her dignity and be received with respectand to avoid "...any sign of unfair discrimination"and particularly any form of aggression and violence. As far as families are concerned, it is a question of to ensure a respectful accompanimentThe purpose of the project is to help those who manifest a homosexual tendency to fully understand and carry out God's will in their lives.".

The full interview with Pope Francis granted to Valentina Alazraki, from the Televisa network, from which the Pope's words were extracted for the documentary.

References to local regulations

The interview continues with a question in relation to a ten year old local law in Argentina on the "equal marriages of same-sex couples". and the opposition of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires in this regard. In this sense, Pope Francis affirmed that "it is incongruous to talk about same-sex marriage"adding that, in the same context, he had spoken of the right of these persons to have certain legal coverage: "what we have to do is a civil cohabitation law; they have the right to be legally covered. I defended that".

Finally, the communiqué brings up some words of the Pope in an interview granted in 2014:"Marriage is between a man and a woman. The secular States want to justify civil unions to regulate various situations of cohabitation, driven by the need to regulate economic aspects between people, such as ensuring health care. These are cohabitation pacts of different nature, of which I would not be able to give a list of the various forms. It is necessary to see the different cases and to evaluate them in their variety.".

Therefore, it is noted that Pope Francis in no way changes the doctrine of the Magisterium on this point, but rather has referred to certain state provisions, not to Church doctrine.This has been reaffirmed on numerous occasions in recent years.

In collaboration with
Do you want independent, truthful and relevant news?

Dear reader, Omnes reports with rigor and depth on religious news. We do a research work that allows the reader to acquire criteria on the events and stories that happen in the Catholic sphere and the Church. We have star signatures and correspondents in Rome who help us to make the background information stand out from the media noise, with ideological distance and independence.

We need you to face the new challenges of a changing media landscape and a reality that demands reflection, we need your support.

In collaboration with
La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.