Pope’s nod to civil unions isn’t agreement to gay marriage

Balancing homosexual demands for legal recognition, marital status and church law has led Pope Francis to argue privately that the Church should come out for civil unions as the “lesser of two evils,”.

Sergio Rubin, who is Francis’s authorised biographer, says Francis has suggested this would mean rather than homosexual “marriage”, the term “civil unions” could be used instead.

“Let us call things by their names. Matrimony is between a man and a woman. This is the precise term. Let us call the same-sex union a ‘civil union’”, Francis says.

This is a somewhat different view from the one put by a recent news report suggesting Francis agrees with civil unions that recognise homosexual relationships under law.

Rubin says this is not the case and Francis is not contradicting the Church’s teaching about marriage.

Instead, he says Francis and has reaffirmed his support for the church’s view: that marriage can only “be defined as a union of one man and one woman”, which “we cannot change”.

The church also teaches that since homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” Catholics cannot approve of same-sex civil unions.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated this long-held teaching in 2003. In a document written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (who would be elected Pope Benedict XVI) and approved by Pope Saint John Paul II, the Congregation said:

“The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”


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