Thomas Gallatin / October 26, 2020

Pope Francis Promotes Homosexual Unions?

A new documentary appears to depict Francis endorsing same-sex civil unions.

A recently released documentary has stirred no small amount of controversy as it appears to show the head of the Roman Catholic Church break with biblical and long-held church teachings to endorse same-sex marriage. In the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered in Rome on Wednesday, Pope Francis is quoted as saying, “Homosexual people have the 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. What we have to have is a civil union law — that way they are legally covered. I supported that.”

It’s no secret that Francis’s social and political views are well to the left of his predecessor, yet this latest statement — assuming it accurately reflects what the pope said, which is apparently up for debate — would represent a fundamental departure from church orthodoxy. And yet, Francis has a long history of taking a rather liberal view on homosexuality while at the same time avoiding any claim to be advocating a fundamental change to the church’s definition of marriage.

Back in 2013, Francis indicated a rather squishy stance over whether the church viewed homosexuality as sinful when responding to reports of homosexual clergy. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will,” he mused, “who am I to judge?” However, Francis has also warned against the cultural push to redefine the institution of marriage, emphasizing that it is “between one man and one woman.” To add more confusion to the issue, Francis has seemingly argued for the acceptance of homosexual family members and same-sex unions while at the same time noting that this “does not mean approving of homosexual acts.”

Indeed, the obvious theological problem arising from the pope’s latest apparent endorsement of same-sex unions is the reality that it would also therefore be an endorsement of homosexual acts, which the Bible unequivocally pronounces as sinful. That problem is highlighted by the seemingly contradictory statement from Boston’s Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a chief advisor to Francis, who argued that the pope’s “endorsement of civil unions is not an endorsement of homosexual activity.” But Francis, he says, is “very aware of the suffering and alienation of homosexual individuals, gay people, who are rejected by family and society.” Talk about trying to have your cake and eat it too.

Cutting through all the double talk, it becomes apparent that the only thing holding Francis back from fulling embracing homosexuality is determining a path for getting around the clear church doctrine and biblical teaching that has long condemned homosexuality as a sin.

(Updated.)

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