The Vatican says a new documentary that implied Pope Francis changed Catholic doctrine on same-sex couples took his words out of context and deleted a critical comment.
The documentary, Francesco, showed the pope telling an interviewer, “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.” Pope Francis also said, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.”
But the Vatican Secretariat of State, in a note to papal representatives (“nuncios”) around the world, said the documentary had spliced together his comments from multiple questions, Catholic News Service reported.
The comments were “edited and published as a single answer without the necessary contextualization,” the Vatican said.
In the first comment, Pope Francis was discussing the necessity of homosexuals to be accepted and loved by their families, the note said.
The documentary cut out a quote where Pope Francis said “it is an incongruence to speak of homosexual marriage” the Vatican said, according to Reuters.
“It is clear that Pope Francis was referring to certain state provisions and certainly not the doctrine of the Church, which he has reaffirmed numerous times over the years,” the Vatican said.
The film’s director, Evgeny Afineevsky, was not granted an interview with Pope Francis but instead used comments from a 2019 interview with Mexico’s Televisa network, the Vatican said.
The Vatican note also referenced a quote from Pope Francis in 2014 in which he said, “Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to validate civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, driven by the need to regulate economic aspects between people, such as ensuring health care. These are cohabitation pacts of various kinds, of which I could not list the different forms.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.