Did 2020 just deliver some good news?
Francesco, a new documentary about Pope Francis, had its worldwide premiere on Wednesday, October 21, at the Rome Film Festival. The feature is directed by Evgeny Afineevsky and includes exclusive, revealing interviews with the Pope himself. In one of the conversations, Pope Francis discusses issues personal to him like the environment, racism, and same-sex civil unions, which he surprisingly approves of.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis says in the film. “What we have to have is a civil-union law; that way they are legally covered.”
Pope Francis has actually spoken out in favor of same-sex civil unions before. As NewNowNext reported in 2017, he addressed the topic in the book Politics and Society, which consists of 12 printed conversations between the Pope and French sociologist Dominique Wolton. There, Francis explained that he prefers using a different term than the word “marriage” to describe unions between gay couples.
“’Marriage’ is a historical word. Always in humanity, and not only within the Church, it’s between a man and a woman…we cannot change that. This is the nature of things,” Francis told Wolton. “Let’s call them ’civil unions.’ Let’s not play with the truth.”
“Let’s say things as they are: Marriage is between a man and a woman,” he added. “This is the precise term. Let’s call unions between [same-sex couples] ’civil unions.'”
Pope Francis has condemned against marriage equality before, but his comments in Francesco mark his first clear endorsement of same-sex civil unions. He did say he’d support them while he was an archbishop in Argentina. However, all of his previous statements on civil unions for gay couples since becoming the Pope have been vague and ambiguous.
Francesco is slated to have its U.S. premiere on October 25 at the Savannah Film Festival.