Pope says he supports civil unions for same-sex couples

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Rome (AFP)

Pope Francis has defended the right of same-sex couples to enter into legally recognized civil unions in a documentary presented at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

In Evgeny Afineevsky’s film “Francesco”, the Argentine pope says that homosexuals have “the right to be in a family”.

“They are children of God, they have the right to a family,” Francis says in the film, speaking in Spanish.

“What we need to create is a civil union law, they have the right to be legally protected. I defended him, ”Francis said.

But former Jorge Bergoglio has always voiced his opposition to gay marriage, saying marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

“Since the beginning of the pontificate, the Pope has spoken of respect for homosexuals and opposed their discrimination,” Vatican expert Vania de Luca told Rainews.

“The novelty today is that he defends as pope a law for civil unions. ”

‘No judgments’

Became pope in 2013, Francis took an unprecedented welcoming tone towards homosexuals, launching his famous phrase “Who am I to judge? and welcoming gay couples to the Vatican on several occasions.

The two-hour documentary retraces the seven years of his pontificate and his travels.

One of the film’s most moving moments is the Pope’s phone call to a gay couple, parents of three young children, in response to a letter they sent him telling him how ashamed they were. bring their children to the parish.

Francis invites them to continue going to church regardless of the judgments of others.

Chilean Juan Carlos Cruz, an activist against sexual abuse in the church, accompanied the director to the film screening on Wednesday.

“When I met Pope Francis, he told me he was very sorry for what had happened. Juan, it’s God who made you gay and he loves you anyway. God loves you and the Pope loves you too ”, says Cruz in the film.

Afineevsky, of Russian origin, who attended the Pope’s general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, was nominated for an Oscar and Emmy in 2016 for “Winter of Fire” on the 2013-2014 protests in Ukraine.

In 2018, he received three Emmy nominations for “Cries of Syria” about the civil war in that country.

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