Pope Francis on Wednesday defended the right of gay couples, "children of God", to live in a "civil union" which protects them legally.
Homosexual people have the right to be with their family. They are children of God, they have the right to a family, declared the sovereign pontiff of Argentina, in a documentary presented Wednesday at the Festival of the cinema in Rome.
What is needed is a civil union law, they have the right to be legally covered. I defended this, he stressed in this documentary entitled Francesco and directed by Evgeny Afineevsky.
Since his election as pope, Francis had already mentioned, without rejection, the notion of civil unions for people of the same sex.
In the documentary unveiled Wednesday, however, he pleads with unprecedented force for this legal model.
His statements in Spanish follow in the film the testimony of a homosexual, father of three, who asked him in a letter if they should attend church. The Pope then called him on the phone to advise him to be transparent about his choice of life in his parish and to bring his children there.
If the Sovereign Pontiff has shown openness to homosexual couples, by regularly asserting that they should be welcomed within the Catholic Church, he nevertheless remains firmly opposed to gay marriage, such a union must necessarily be between a man and a woman, according to him.
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