Catholic Civil Unions

In a recent interview with Corriere della Sera, an Italian magazine, Pope Francis has indicated that one day the Catholic Church could support civil unions. The interview  – which also discussed many other issues concerning the Catholic Church – is significant as it is the first time that a Pope has appeared to suggest that a civil union could be acceptable in the eyes of the church in some cases, and appears to show a more tolerant tone.

When questioned about the stance the Catholic Church was taking over civil unions, Pope Francis told Corriere della Sera in an interview on March 7th that “Marriage is between a man and a woman” however, he went on to state that “You have to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.” Some are suggesting that these comments mean that the Church could deem gay marriage acceptable in some circumstances.

During the interview, Pope Francis suggested that a civil union could be acceptable if it meant that things like property rights and health care would be protected.

However, other sources have already sought to play down the comments made during the interview and are stating that this is not a change in stance of the church.

The Catholic Church has always believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and this is something that Pope Francis repeated during the interview with Corriere della Sera; homosexual acts have been deemed to be against natural law, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In the past, the church has also stated that a same sex marriage/civil union would not be a suitable environment for a child to grow up in and it has argued that legislation in favour of gay marriage is damaging to society.

During the interview, Pope Francis was also asked about the Catholic Church and its attitude toward women. When questioned about the role of women in the church, Pope Francis replied that “It is true that women can and should be more present in the places of the decision of the Church. But I would call it a promotion of functional type.”

Following the interview, the Vatican has attempted to clarify the comments and said that they were only “very general terms” and advised people to not read more into the Pope’s words.

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