Catholics respond to civil union comments
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/22/20, 04:20 pm
Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, R.I., said Pope Francis’ statement in support of legal civil unions for homosexual couples “clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the Church about same sex unions.” The pope’s comments appear in the documentary Francesco, which premiered in Rome on Wednesday. Bishop Joseph Strickland in Texas called the remarks “confusing and very dangerous.” LGBT activists lauded the remarks as a historic shift. Others say this isn’t anything new—Francis has previously defended laws for civil unions to distinguish them from Catholic marriage.
What does the Vatican say? The Rev. Antonio Spadaro, one of the pope’s communications advisers, dismissed the statements as old news from a 2019 interview with a Mexican broadcaster. When it aired, the interview did not include Francis’ statements in support of legalizing same-sex civil unions, cutting off after the pope said, “I have always defended doctrine” in opposing same-sex marriage in Argentina.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Kiley Crossland’s report from 2015 about the broad interpretations of Francis’ prior statements about sexuality.
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Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.