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?”