WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW, AP) — Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue.
The papal thumbs-up came midway through the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival. The film, which features fresh interviews with the pope, delves into issues Francis cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, and the people most affected by discrimination.
On Thursday, Bishop Carl Kemme with the Catholic Diocese of Wichita released the following statement regarding Pope Francis’ remarks on same-sex civil unions both on the diocese’s website and their Facebook page:
“As reported yesterday, October 21, 2020, Pope Francis is being reported to have expressed support of same-sex civil unions in a documentary entitled “Francesco,” in order to express pastoral concern for individuals and groups who experience discrimination as a result of sexual orientation. I have not seen that documentary nor the full text of what Pope Francis reportedly said and in the absence of clarification from the Vatican, I encourage the people of God to prayerful serenity. While the Pope’s comments may engender a certain degree of alarm and confusion, it is good to point our attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which clearly proclaims that marriage is between one man and one woman, as indicated by natural law and biblical truth. The Pope is not altering doctrine, nor is he legitimizing homosexual acts, which also the Catechism teaches are gravely sinful. I believe that Pope Francis is reminding us of the respect and dignity all people deserve, including those with same sex attraction.”
For more information on the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, click here.