(#1) Pope Francis calls for civil union law for same-sex couples, in shift from Vatican stance (link)
CNA Staff, Oct 21, 2020 / 06:35 am MT (CNA).-
In a documentary that premiered Wednesday in Rome, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples, departing from the position of the Vatican’s doctrinal office and the pope’s predecessors on the issue.
The remarks came amid a portion of the documentary that reflected on pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT.
“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 said in the film, of his approach to pastoral care.
After those remarks, and in comments likely to spark controversy among Catholics, Pope Francis weighed in directly on the issue of civil unions for same-sex couples.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”
The remarks come in “Francesco,” a documentary on the life and ministry of Pope Francis which premiered Oct. 21 as part of the Rome Film Festival, and is set to make its North American premiere on Sunday.
The film chronicles the approach of Pope Francis to pressing social issues, and to pastoral ministry among those who live, in the words of the pontiff, “on the existential peripheries.”
Featuring interviews with Vatican figures including Cardinal Luis Tagle and other collaborators of the pope, “Francesco” looks at the pope’s advocacy for migrants and refugees, the poor, his work on the issue of clerical sexual abuse, the role of women in society, and the disposition of Catholics and others toward those who identify as LGBT.
The film addresses the pastoral outreach of Pope Francis to those who identify as LGBT, including a story of the pontiff encouraging two Italian men in a same-sex relationship to raise their children in their parish church, which, one of the men said, was greatly beneficial to his children.
“He didn’t mention what was his opinion on my family. Probably he’s following the doctrine on this point,” the man said, while praising the pope for a disposition and attitude of welcome and encouragement.
The pope’s remarks on civil unions come amid that part of the documentary. Filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky told CNA that the pope made his call for civil unions during an interview the documentarian conducted with the pope.
The pope’s direct call for civil union laws represents a shift from the perspective of his predecessors, and from his own more circumspect positions on civil unions in the past.
In 2010, while he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis opposed efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. While Sergio Rubin, the future pope’s biographer, suggested that Francis supported the idea of civil unions as a way to prevent the wholesale adoption of same-sex marriage in Argentina, Miguel Woites, director of the Argentinian Catholic news outlet AICA, dismissed in 2013 that claim as false.
But the pope’s mention of having previously “stood up” for civil unions seems to confirm the reports of Rubin and others who said that then-Cardinal Bergoglio supported privately the idea of civil unions as a compromise in Argentina.
In the 2013 book “On Heaven and Earth,” Pope Francis did not reject the possibility of civil unions outright, but did say that laws “assimilating” homosexual relationships to marriage are “an anthropological regression,” and he expressed concern that if same-sex couples “are given adoption rights, there could be affected children. Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity.”
In 2014, Fr. Thomas Rosica, who was then working in the Holy See’s press office told CNA that Pope Francis had not expressed support for same-sex civil unions, after some journalists reported that he had done so in an interview that year. While a civil unions proposal was debated in Italy, Rosica emphasized that Francis would not weigh in on the debate, but would emphasize Catholic teaching on marriage.
In 2003, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and at the direction of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith taught that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.”
“Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself,” the CDF added, calling support for such unions from politicians “gravely immoral.”
“Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfil the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase,” the document said.
The Vatican’s press office did not respond to questions from CNA on the pope’s remarks in the film.
While bishops in some countries have not opposed same-sex civil unions proposals, and tried instead to distinguish them from civil marriage, opponents of civil unions have long warned that they serve as a legislative and cultural bridge to same-sex marraige initiatives, give tacit approval to immorality, and fail to protect the rights of children to be parented by both a mother and father.
Afineevsky told EWTN News this month that he tried in “Francesco” to present the pope as he saw him, and that the film might not please all Catholics. He told CNA Wednesday that in his view, the film is not “about” the pope’s call for civil unions, but “about many other global issues.”
“I’m looking at him not as the pope, I’m looking at him as a humble human being, great role model to younger generation, leader for the older generation, a leader to many people not in the sense of the Catholic Church, but in the sense of pure leadership, on the ground, on the streets,” Afineevsky added.
The documentarian said he began working with the Vatican to produce a film on Pope Francis in 2018, and was given unprecedented access to Pope Francis until filming completed in June, amid Italy’s coronavirus lockdowns.
Afineevsky, a Russian-born filmmaker living in the U.S., was in 2015 nominated for both an Academy Award and an Emmy Award for his work “Winter on Fire,” a documentary that chronicled Ukraine’s 2013 and 2014 Euromaidan protests. His 2017 film “Cries from Syria” was nominated for four News and Documentary Emmy Awards and three Critics’ Choice Awards.
On Thursday, Afineevsky will be presented in the Vatican Gardens with the prestigious Kineo Movie for Humanity Award, which recognizes filmmakers who present social and humanitarian issues through filmmaking. The award was established in 2002 by the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Rosetta Sannelli, the creator of the Kineo Awards, noted that “every trip of Pope Francis to various parts of the world is documented in Afineevsky’s work, in images and news footage, and reveals itself as an authentic glimpse into the events of our time, a historical work in all respects.”
(#2) Press Release, Catholic League, October 21, 2020
Pope Weighs In On Civil Unions For Gays
October 21, 2020
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responds to news stories about the pope endorsing civil unions for homosexuals:
In a new documentary about Pope Francis, “Francesco,” the Holy Father comments on homosexuals. “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”
The Vatican website posts a news release on the movie but makes no mention of the pope’s reflections on homosexuals. Is it because what he said does not change Church doctrine? Or is it because they want to avoid controversy? The former is true and the latter may also be.
Before commenting on what the pope said, it is important to recognize what he did not say. He did not endorse gay marriage. That is because he cannot: It would be against everything he has previously said, and it would conflict with official Church teachings on the subject.
In 2010, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires (and future Pope Francis), mobilized Catholics to defeat a law affirming gay marriage. Though he failed in his quest, he was quite blunt about his opposition to same-sex marriage.
“At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”
Who was behind the push for gay marriage? Satan.
“Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” The “father of lies” whom he speaks of is the Devil.
The would-be pope tried to work out a compromise with Argentinean authorities at the time. That is why he floated the idea of recognizing civil unions. But it was clear that would not satisfy, so nothing came of it.
The pope’s statement about homosexuals having a right to be in a family, and that they cannot be kicked out, is of course true. He was referring to what sociologists call the “family of orientation,” meaning the family we were born into. He was not referring to what is called the “family of procreation,” meaning the family we make as adults.
To be exact, homosexual acts cannot result in procreation, which is why the Church teaches that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered. Indeed, homosexuals owe their very existence to opposite-sex unions. Moreover, the pope knows that “gay families” are not legitimate.
Two years ago, Pope Francis said only heterosexuals can form a family. “It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of families,” but “the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one.”
If the pope did not change any Church teaching on homosexuality or marriage, why did he make the remarks attributed to him in the documentary?
This appears to be one more instance where he is trying to reach out to homosexuals, letting them know that their sexual status does not disqualify them from God’s love. There is a huge difference, however, between the sexual status of an individual, and the social status of an institution, such as marriage and the family. The pope knows the difference, even if some of his gay fans do not.
It would be helpful for the Vatican to clarify what the pope meant. The content of his remarks is not problematic, but the lack of context is. The laity need clarity, not confusion.
E-mail: [email protected]
(#3) Archbishop Viganò’s remarks on the new film in which Pope Francis endorses homosexual civil unions
By Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
Wed Oct 21, 2020 – 3:32 pm EST
ROME, October 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican News website  has reported the news that today at the Rome Film Festival a documentary film will be screened called Francesco made by director Evgeny Afineevsky.
This documentary – according to what has been reported by Catholic News Agency  and America Magazine – makes public several pronouncements of Jorge Mario Bergoglio on the topic of homosexuality. Among the various statements, these two are particularly disconcerting:
“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.”
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
One does not have to be a theologian or a moral expert to know that such statements are totally heterodox and constitute a very serious cause of scandal for the faithful.
But pay careful attention: these words simply constitute the umpteenth provocation by which the “ultra-progressive” part of the Hierarchy wants to artfully provoke a schism, as it has already tried to do with the Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the modification of doctrine on the death penalty, the Pan-Amazon Synod and the filthy Pachamama, and the Abu Dhabi Declaration which has now been reaffirmed and aggravated by the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti.
It appears that Bergoglio is impudently trying to “raise the stakes” in a crescendo of heretical affirmations, in such a way that it will force the healthy part of the Church – which includes bishops, clergy, and faithful – to accuse him of heresy, in order to declare that healthy part of the Church schismatic and “the enemy of the Pope.”
Jorge Mario Bergoglio is trying to force some Cardinals and Bishops to separate themselves from communion with him, obtaining as a result not his own deposition for heresy but rather the expulsion of Catholics who want to remain faithful to the perennial Magisterium of the Church. This trap would have the purpose – in the presumed intentions of Bergoglio and his “magic circle” – of consolidating his own power within a church that would only nominally be “Catholic” but in reality would be heretical and schismatic.
This deception draws on the support of the globalist élite, the mainstream media, and the LGBT lobby, to which many clergy, bishops, and cardinals are no strangers. Furthermore, let us not forget that in many nations there are laws in force which criminally punish anyone who considers sodomy reprehensible and sinful or who does not approve of the legitimization of homosexual “matrimony” – even if they do so on the basis of their Creed. A pronouncement by the bishops against Bergoglio on a question like homosexuality could potentially lead civil authority to prosecute them criminally, with the approval of the Vatican.
Bergoglio would thus have on his side not only the “deep church” represented by rebels like Father James Martin, S.J., and those who promote the German “Synodal Path,” but also the “deep state.” It is not surprising that in the documentary there is also an endorsement of the Democratic candidate in the upcoming American presidential election, along with a disconcerting condemnation of the policy of the Trump Administration, which is accused of separating families that want to enter the United States illegally, while the reality is that the President is confronting human trafficking and the trafficking of minors.
Thus, while conservative American bishops are forbidden from intervening in the political debate in support of President Trump, the Vatican allows itself to casually interfere in the elections in favor of his Democratic adversary, in union with the censorship by social and news media of the very serious accusations against the Biden family.
As Catholics, we are called to side with those who defend life, the natural family, and national sovereignty. We thought that we had the Vicar of Christ at our side. We painfully acknowledge that, in this epochal clash, he who ought to be guiding the Barque of Peter has chosen to side with the Enemy, in order to sink it. Recalling the courage of the Holy Pontiffs in defending the integrity of the Faith and promoting the salvation of souls, one can only observe: Quantum mutatus ab illis! 
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
 “How changed from what they once were!” – cf. Virgil’s Aeneid: “Quantum mutatus ab illo!