The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, says he thinks same-sex couples should now be allowed to have “civil unions”.
“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family,” the Pope said as part of a film, which premiered on Wednesday in the Rome Film Festival.
The comments are now being seen as the most revealing yet on a possible shift in papal doctrine on homosexual relationships as the Catholic Church struggles to remain relevant in the modern-era.
“They are (the) children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered” he said in the movie Francesco, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky.
Pope Francis went on to hint that his time as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina, a strongly Catholic nation, was a time of contradictions.
Whilst officially against same sex marriage under Argentine law, the head of the Vatican and the planet’s 1.2 billion Catholics, also, it now appears did back a degree of legal protection for homosexual residents of the city.
The Vatican is the only official diplomatic ally of Taiwan in mainland Europe.
It was a revelation that did not shock the Pope’s official biographer, Austen Ivereigh. “This was his position as Archbishop of Buenos Aires,” Mr Ivereigh said in an interview. “He was always opposed to marriage being for same-sex couples. But he believed the church should advocate for a civil union law for gay couples to give them legal protection.”
Just how the opposing sides of the Catholic Church receive the comments remains to be seen, with more liberal leaning western Catholics likely to welcome the comments, although the more conservative wing of the Catholic church is expected to be less than impressed with the Pope’s comments.