Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions saying homosexuals ‘are children of God and have right to family’

THE Pope today endorsed same-sex civil unions in a historic shift for the Roman Catholic church.

He said homosexual people are "children of God and have a right to be in a family".

Pope Francis made the comments in a new documentary released today.

Speaking in the film Francesco by Oscar-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky he said: "What we have to create is a civil union law.

"That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that."

Papal biographer Austen Ivereigh says it's the Pope's clearest endorsement of same-sex unions to date.

The comments are a huge U-turn on the Catholic churches' mainline stance on what's commonly called "gay marriage".

In 2003 under Pope John Paul II, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said: “Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity.

"The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

But Pope Francis – the subject of the new documentary which details his dedication to social issues including refugees and LGBTQ* rights, claims to have previously backed the unions.

In 2010 claims the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires supported same-sex civil unions as a way to prevent the adaption of heterosexual marriage-style unions by the LGBTQ* community were rubbished.

Miguel Woites, director of the Argentinian Catholic news outlet AICA, said journalists' who claimed Pope Francis backed same-sex unions at the time had reported the incident falsley.

But the Pope's reference to "standing up" for their rights to be legally recognised as partners in the new doc appear to contradict that line.

More to follow…

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