ROME – Pope Francis says he is fine with the idea of same-sex civil union.
This surely would send LGBTQ advocates to the moon with wide smiles on their faces, but raise the hackles of conservatives the world over.
The papal endorsement was reportedly prominently featured in the documentary film “Francesco” which appeared last week in the Rome Film Festival.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are (also) children of God,” the Pope said in giving the thumbs-up to same-sex civil unions.
Vatican officials said that the pro-LGBTQ comments will shock millions of Roman Catholics who have long followed the Church doctrine that gay relationships are “sinful.”
Shortly after being elected in 2013, Pope Francis was quoted in report as saying: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge him?”
Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI – who preceded Pope Francis – had both rejected homosexual marriage during their tenure.
But United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutierres, himself a devout Catholic, called the Pope’s remarks “very positive.” He had previously condemned homophobia in favor of LGBTQ rights.