Vatican: Pope Doesn’t Support Gay Civil Unions
Though Pope Francis made some groundbreaking remarks regarding the LGBT community last summer, Vatican officials said Sunday that the pontiff is not open to civil unions for Italian same-sex couples, Reuters reports.
According to reports Francis told leaders of religious orders that the Catholic Church didn’t want to scare away children who live with same-sex parents. The pope gave an example of a girl from Buenos Aires who told her teacher that she was sad because "my mother’s girlfriend doesn’t like me."
Francis told the religious leaders that it would be difficult for the Church to reach out to children living in difficult family situations, Reuters reports.
"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the Holy See said, according to a transcript of the conversation. "How can we proclaim Christ to these boys and girls? How can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing? We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them."
Soon after Francis’ comments were made, the Italian media reported that the pope was signaling support for civil unions for same-sex couples.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, however, says Italian media interpretation of Francis’ statements were a "manipulation" as he never stated he supports marriage rights for gay couples. Lombardi said Francis was "alluding to the suffering of children" and not taking a stand on gay rights in Italy.
Francis broke new ground for the papacy in 2013 with his comments about homosexuality, saying "If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"
Time magazine named him "Person of the Year" as did the Advocate, the oldest operating LGBT magazine in the United States.