(RNS1-June 13) Pope Francis recently decried anti-Semitism as “madness” and made waves for his controversial "inside every Christian is a Jew" statement. For use with RNS-POPE-JEWS transmitted on June 13, 2014, Creative Commons image by the Catholic Church (England and Wales)

Pope Francis’ Words on Same-Sex Civil Unions are a Win for Everyone

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By Emma Craven

Wednesday was not just a big day for Catholics or Catholics in the LGBTQ+ community but is a big day for us all.

Early Wednesday Pope Francis came out with an updated statement regarding the Catholic Church’s views on same sex marriage in a new documentary. Pope Francis says that same-sex couples should be “legally covered” and that, “What we have to create is a civil union law.”

This is a complete shift from what we have previously heard from the Catholic Church, and honestly it refreshing and extremely needed during these times. Pope Francis went on to say that, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.” This is an endorsement from the Catholic Church that same-sex marriage should be allowed, but also LGBTQ individuals should be welcomed into the church as everyone else.

This is a huge win for all people, not just people who identify as Catholic or LGBTQ+. As many people know, an updated view on same-sex marriage has been needed, especially since the 2003 encyclical released by the Catholic Church,Considerations Regarding Proposals to give legal recognition to unions between Homosexual Persons.This encyclical stated that same-sex individuals should be respected, but that same-sex marriage should not be recognized legally. The encyclical went as far as to say that same-sex marriage is “immoral,” and “sinful.” The encyclical also called on lawmakers, especially those who identify as Catholic, to not recognize same-sex marriages as legal. This document is extremely against same-sex marriage and extremely exclusionary to those in the LGBTQ community.

Since this encyclical has been released, an updated view on the Catholic Church’s beliefs has been needed because of the contradictory language inside the document and the extreme views against same-sex marriage. Today, there is finally clear language on the Catholic’s Church views and that it is in support of same-sex marriage.

Pope Francis also said that, “homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” meaning they have a right to be apart of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis went on to say that “Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it [homosexuality].”

The 2003 encyclical called for respect of LGBTQ individuals, but Pope Francis’s new statement calls for acceptance and equality which is incredibly needed in today’s world. This new view on same-sex marriage will hopefully allow for more acceptance and equitable treatment of all people in the Catholic Church.

As mentioned before, these new statements on same-sex marriage were made for a documentary about Pope Francis, which will be called “Francesco.” This documentary premiered this week in Rome at the Rome Film Festival and should be premiering in the United States later in October. The premiere of “Francesco” in the United States is scheduled for Oct. 25 at the Savannah Film Festival. This documentary will provide an even deeper view on the Catholic Church’s updated view on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ individuals. While “Francesco” is not available in the United States yet, a trailer of the documentary can be viewed here:

For more information regarding Pope Francis’s view on same-sex marriage, please visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/pope-francis-civil-unions/2020/10/21/805a601c-139e-11eb-a258-614acf2b906d_story.html and https://kesq.com/news/2020/10/21/pope-francis-endorses-same-sex-civil-unions/.

About Emma Craven

Emma Craven is an undergraduate student at Gonzaga University majoring in English and Psychology. She is originally from Leavenworth and currently lives in Spokane with her family. She grew up in a half Jewish and half Catholic household. She has a writing background in news writing, poetry, and fiction pieces. She has previously been published in two of Gonzaga’s writing journals. Outside of school and work, you can find her swimming, reading, spending time with family, or watching Grey's Anatomy.

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