Diocese of Austin responds after Pope Francis endorses civil unions for same-sex couples


AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Diocese of Austin is responding after Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions during filming for a documentary.

Pope Francis’ comments came to light after he was interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco.” He said during an interview, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.”

In a statement Thursday, the Diocese of Austin said Pope Francis’ remarks do not affect Christ’s teaching on marriage.

“In light of the recent documentary, Francesco, in which Pope Francis reportedly mentions civil unions, the Diocese of Austin affirms the Church’s teaching that marriage is an indissoluble bond between one man and one woman,” the statement read. “Pope Francis’ thoughts likely flow from the importance of ‘accompaniment,’ a running theme of his pontificate.”

The Diocese explained further that the Holy Father encourages Catholics—and all people for that matter—to “accompany those in need of material and spiritual support.”

Civil unions are similar to legal marriages in that they grant some familial rights to those who enter into them.

“What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” Pope Francis elaborated in one of the film interviews.

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