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Pope support for same-sex civil unions draws confusion among local faith leaders

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 6:18 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Pope Francis is supporting same-sex civil unions, an endorsement that is drawing some confusion among local faith leaders.

The Pope reportedly called out for the passage of civil unions for same-sex couples during an interview for a documentary that aired in Rome Wednesday saying, “Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” and says, “What we have to create is a civil union law. that way, they are legally covered. I stood up for that."

The Pope’s words causing several local pastors to stay quiet on their stance, referring any comments on the matter to the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese.

“It is difficult to comment on the brief statement by Pope Francis in the Italian documentary in which he expresses support for “a civil union law” that would “legally cover” same-sex couples. It is unclear what kind of civil protections, rights, or benefits the Holy Father has in mind when he speaks of supporting civil unions for same-sex couples,” Reverend Kevin Rhoades, bishop of the Fort Wayne- South Bend diocese says.

Many local faith leaders pointing out there has not, at this point, been any encyclical, or official document, clarifying if the Pope is considering making any changes to the doctrine.

But as H.R. John, the Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center in Mishawaka explains, it’s something he hopes is heading in that direction.

“I would hope that this message, from this particular pope, signals some kind of shift in that. Obviously, this is Pope Francis speaking. This isn’t a change of policy with the church, a change of doctrine or anything like that. I hope that’s where that is going leads into a more substantial change in the catholic church’s position on this," John says.

Rhoades says he expects there will be an explanation from the Vatican in the coming days, but says does not want to speculate.

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