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Pope Francis Endorses Same-Sex Civil Unions In A Documentary About His Life. But Will This Stay This Way?

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The fact of the matter is that love doesn’t have a gender. Neither does marriage. Unfortunately, there are very few people who actually understand that members of the LGBTQ+ community, despite what gender (binary or non-binary) they identify with, should also be able to avail the same rights as a heterosexual couple. It’s become more essential now than ever before to move with the times and jump away from the traditional norms and views of marriage. It’s about love and not gender, why won’t people get that?. However, it seems like Pope Francis has gotten the idea for he is making headlines after he showed his support to same-sex civil unions. If the Pope, of all people, can understand and accept same-sex relationships, what’s your excuse not to? 

This is a very significant moment. After centuries of the \Catholic church rejecting and berating homosexuality and homosexual acts, its leader Pope Francis has announced his support towards same-sex unions. This pathbreaking revelation was made the Pope in a documentary movie called Francesco by filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky that premiered at the Rome Film Festival. The movie revolves around the life and work of Pope Francis. 

In the documentary, Pope Francis said, “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.” Further adding, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.” 

Pope Francis made history by being the first Pope to extend his support and endorse same-sex relationships. This is a radical shift from earlier Popes and their beliefs. However, what few people know is that this isn’t the first time he has backed the LGBTQ+ community. When Pope Francis was still the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had called for the legal protection of members of the LGBTQ+ community. Although, back then he was against same-sex marriages in law. 

Apart from his comments on the civil unions for same-sex couples, the film also shows the Pope encouraging two gay men to attend church with their three children. This is extremely heartwarming and I can’t wait to watch this documentary. 

Pope Francis’s biographer, Austen Ivereigh said that he was “not surprised” by the Pope’s comments and that this was the “clearest language” he had used about homosexuality, since his appointment in 2013. 

Mr Ivereigh told BBC “This was his position as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He was always opposed to marriage being for same-sex couples. But he believed the church should advocate for a civil union law for gay couples to give them legal protection.”  

I think there is new hope for the LGBT community. For so long they were shunned by the church but maybe all that will change now that the Pope supports the community. It’s honestly heartwarming to see the Pope changing the long-standing stance of the Catholic church. The world is definitely moving forward and the documentary with these comments is just the first step. 

One of the main characters in the movie is Juan Carlos Cruz, an activist against sexual abuse within the Church. Cruz is also the Chilean survivor of clergy sexual abuse whom Francis initially discredited during a 2018 visit to Chile. He recalls in the film, “When I met Pope Francis he told me he was very sorry about what happened. ‘Juan, it is God who made you gay and he loves you anyway. God loves you and the Pope loves you too’”. 

However, these remarks made by Pope Francis in the documentary are a stark contrast to the remarks he has made earlier about same-sex marriages. Under current Catholic doctrine, gay relationships are referred to as “deviant behaviour”. In 2013, in the book On Heaven and Earth, he’d said that equating same-sex relationships to heterosexual marriages would be “an anthropological regression”. He also said then that if same-sex couples were allowed to adopt, “there could be affected children… every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity”. 

Also Read: Menaka Guruswamy And Arundhati Katju, The Lawyers Who Fought To Decriminalise Article 377, Now To Fight For Same Sex Marriage

In the same year, Pope Francis changed his stance and said that homosexual acts were sin but homosexual orientation was not. This reaffirmed the Church’s position on the matter. This when Pope Francis said his famous quote, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”  

Then again in 2018 Pope Francis said that he was “worried” about homosexuality within the Catholic clergy and that it was “ a serious matter”.  

Do you see how much back and forth has been done when it comes to what the Pope’s views really are on same-sex relationships? It’s really amazing that in this documentary he is clear about them. He just became the first Pope in history to endorse same-sex relationships. However, as overjoyed as I am about that the sceptical side of me can’t help but wonder whether there is a possibility that Pope Francis will turn on his words. He clearly has done that before. 

These comments made Pope Francis endorsing same-sex relationships are obviously not going to sit well with the more conservative side of the church. Anyway, there is a heated debate about their teachings on homosexuality so these remarks are only going to fuel the fire of controversy. But hopefully this time, he will make sure to the standing of the Catholic Church to be a little more open and inclusive of LGBT+ men and women. 

However, the bottom line is that this is a moment to celebrate. It’s not every day that the Pope announces his support and love towards the LGBTQ+ community. 

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