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Pope Francis Suggests Catholic Church Might Support Civil Unions

Pope Francis suggested in an interview on Wednesday that the church might consider supporting same-sex civil unions, CNN reports:

FrancisOn gay marriage, the Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, Pope Francis said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety."

For instance, civil unions provide financial security to cohabitating couples, "as for instance in medical care," the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily.

According to the Pope's biographer, then Cardinal Borgoglio has supported the idea of civil unions in Argentina when faced with the unstoppable passage of same-sex marriage in 2010.

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  1. No. We'll take marriage.

    Posted by: Håkon | Mar 5, 2014 1:51:05 PM

  2. The pope's opinion regarding the civil rights of gays and lesbians is irrelevant. He's not our religious leader, he's the Catholics'. They can have him -- and his opinions.

    Posted by: Richard | Mar 5, 2014 1:54:28 PM

  3. Yeah, but, keep religion out of politics. You're not allowed to tell me that I can't get married. You're just not. Case closed.

    Posted by: Canny | Mar 5, 2014 1:57:11 PM

  4. Marriage is a state institution. Holy Matrimony is a Christian institution.

    Time Christians learned the difference between the two.

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 5, 2014 1:59:41 PM

  5. I think this is great news. It's progress, a step forward. If the Catholic Church comes out for civil unions today, it won't be so long until it supports marriage equality.

    That would be a game changer on the world stage. The single biggest source of opposition to LGBT rights -- religion -- would see one of the world's biggest religions become LGBT friendly. It's not there yet and wouldn't be there even with civil unions, but the road would be paved.

    Almost as importantly, there are probably millions of gay teens and young adults who are Catholic around the world and have to deal with all kinds of internal and external stife because of it. The Pope coming out for Civil Unions would send a huge message to those kids that they're okay. It may even save lives.

    We should be ecstatic about the prospects of this happening from many different angles. I'd certainly applaud the Pope if he came out for Civil Unions.

    Posted by: Ryan | Mar 5, 2014 2:00:40 PM

  6. now brian brown is in conflict with the pope.
    jeez, i love it.

    Posted by: woody | Mar 5, 2014 2:02:40 PM

  7. also, civil unions are probably coming to italy as the new matteo ricci government has put them on it's agenda.
    so, this might be a recognition of that.

    Posted by: woody | Mar 5, 2014 2:07:53 PM

  8. uh.. i mean matteo renzi

    Posted by: woody | Mar 5, 2014 2:08:36 PM

  9. Sorry, not enough. The Catholic Church needs to be banned from the U.S. as well as lose it's tax exempt status.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Mar 5, 2014 2:14:18 PM

  10. There must be some misunderstanding here. He can't support civil union. "cohabitating" means these couples only "entitled to friendship" according to Tim Donut. Anything beyond that is against Church's teachings and a sin. Also "long standing" must mean less than 50 years. Before that no one has even thought of gay marriage.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 5, 2014 2:16:21 PM

  11. wishful thinking.

    Posted by: Andy | Mar 5, 2014 2:20:03 PM

  12. wishful thinking.

    Posted by: Perin | Mar 5, 2014 2:20:35 PM

  13. @Ryan
    Well said.

    Francis is testing the waters. But the simple fact that he's doing that is tremendous. To have gone from being labelled the anti-Christ by his predecessor Benedict to acceptance of families as civil unions by Francis is unheard of in Church precedent. My take is that he's trying to be a peacemaker. Not church blessed marriage (yet) but accepting of a fully legal and protected status.

    Church doctrine of intrinsically disordered can't stand long once this is achieved. It's just waiting for the other steps to be taken. Once he stops suggesting and makes it policy I'll be first inline to give him his due.

    LOL. Scalia must be apoplectic. The other shoe is dropping Antonin.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Mar 5, 2014 2:23:13 PM

  14. And the Vatican will "clarify" the remarks in 3, 2, 1, ...

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 5, 2014 2:25:30 PM

  15. Don't forget the power he has to sway popular opinion for our brothers and sisters overseas especially. We have come pretty far as a movement to garner even a "civil union" support from the pope himself.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Mar 5, 2014 2:25:49 PM

  16. he is just pullin your wonker. Catholics hate gays and gay marriage. He will be long gone and there will still not be support for that.

    Posted by: Tim | Mar 5, 2014 2:26:52 PM

  17. We've done the impossible. We've changed the Church!
    2000 years of oppression just came to an end.

    For us is America this might not sound like much and it's definitely not our final goal of full equality but for emerging countries in Africa this could be a life saver.

    When the largest denomination of one of the Abrahamic based religions does a complete reversal of it's historic treatment of homosexuals that is monumental.

    Do it Francis. Be the agent of change that helps the world become a better place for everyone. That's your true Papal calling.

    Posted by: BOOM! | Mar 5, 2014 2:32:32 PM

  18. I wonder if Brian Brown has the phone number for the Pope? And I wonder if he has a land line or a cell phone (the Pope, not Brian).

    Posted by: lou | Mar 5, 2014 2:37:36 PM

  19. @Tim "Catholics hate gays and gay marriage."

    Educate yourself. Your divisive attitude sure ain't helping us here.

    Posted by: Not That Rob | Mar 5, 2014 2:39:18 PM

  20. Tim Donut will soon do a TV interview to "clarify" what the Pope meant.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 5, 2014 2:41:20 PM

  21. Sorry, I just cannot believe the time of day out of a Jesuit's lips.

    I know it's the twenty first century but I have learned my history lessons:
    the Jesuits were instrumental in the Revocation of the Treaty of Nantes, which had given toleration to the Huguenots. The Jesuits were never into actual toleration; just the sound of it.

    The Jesuits, of whom the Pope is one, like to sound so reasonable.
    Where has their support of gays been , say in the last twenty years ?
    Where are the Jesuit statements on AIDS ?
    Where is their outrage on the intolerance of Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi ?

    To quote a deceased English Harpie :
    : You can all turn if you want to; this Lady's not for turning."

    Come out with a decisive statement supporting the absolute equality of gays, their rights and their entitlements. Get a majority of Bishops who support you and then call a Council to repudiate the horrors of the Church over the years against children, women and gays,......then I will reconsider the sincerity of of such tentative weasel words.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 5, 2014 2:44:12 PM

  22. I wasn't aware that the Catholic Church's approval was necessary for ANY civil law.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Mar 5, 2014 2:50:31 PM

  23. Not That Rob:
    Let me "clarify" what Tim meant. Catholics mean the Catholic Church. No doubt most of the Catholic bishops are against gay marriage or civil union. It is unclear what kind of concensus exist in the upper echelon of the Church. My feeling is that most bishops will take things in their own hands and "reinterpret" what the Pope meant. He was after all elected by the Bishops whom the Pope cannot ignore.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 5, 2014 2:55:31 PM

  24. "Come out with a decisive statement supporting the absolute equality of gays, their rights and their entitlements."

    And 2 years ago you were ready to vote for Barack Obama who was against the equality of gays at the time. Was it you who told me that you would lie about anything if it brought about Obama's reelection?

    Posted by: AG | Mar 5, 2014 3:16:02 PM

  25. Good luck getting the American Catholic branch of Sheeple to swallow this bit of Kool Aid.

    Posted by: Mitch | Mar 5, 2014 3:36:35 PM

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