Pope’s comments were to be expected

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Opinion

October 26, 2020 - 8:21 AM

Pope Francis speaks during an inter-religious prayer service for peace along with other religious representatives in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, a church on top of Rome's Capitoline Hill, on October 20, 2020 in Rome. Pope Francis says same-sex unions need to be legally protected. Photo by (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Pope Francis’ recent comments expressing support of same-sex civil unions are only earth-shaking to those who tend to exaggerate the prominence of the issue in the context of church teachings. In fact, neither the Catholic Church in earlier eras, nor the text of the Bible itself, gives this topic the obsessive focus that too many believers today ascribe to it. Francis’ live-and-let-live approach is likely to broaden the church’s appeal in the modern world — something it needs to do.

The documentary “Francesco,” released at the Rome Film Festival Wednesday, features the pontiff declaring, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.” He says he supports the concept of a “civil union law” within the church.

This doesn’t come out of nowhere. As far back as 2010, when Francis was cardinal archbishop for Buenos Aires, he was supportive of efforts in Argentina to allow legal rights for gay couples. In 2013, he shocked the global media by declaring: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

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