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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Indian Catholic Bishops Reject Reports of Pope Endorsing Same-Sex Unions

NEW DELHI – An Indian council of Catholic bishops has claimed that reports about the Church supporting same-sex unions, based on parts of an interview by Pope Francis, were “false.”

Jacob Palakkappalli, the spokesperson for the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC), said the Catholic Church had not changed its stance about same-sex couples.

“The reports in media quoting Pope stating that homosexual couples and families should be given equal protection by law are false,” he said.

“Live-in relationship of homosexual couples are not seen as marriage by Catholic Church,” said the statement issued late on Thursday.

The comments, from the religious institution in the southern state of Kerala that has the largest Catholic population, came after remarks of Pope Francis grabbed headlines and caused a furor.

The remarks were part of a documentary, “Francesco,” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

“Homosexuals (…) have a right to a family. (…) What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the Pope said in the film.

The makers of the film have not released unedited footage of the interview.

The statement could potentially make Francis the first Pope to take a favorable view of same-sex partnerships.

However, the KCBC, headed by Cardinal George Alencherry, insisted that the Church “does not make exhortations about marriage and family life through documentaries,” and denied the comments as a change of stance.

The statement said the Church had taken the issue of same-sex relationships seriously, and the official stance of the Pope had not changed.

“The Pope had taught in the past also that those in the LGBT category are children of God and they deserve special care and love,” but that did not constitute a change in his position, the KCBC said.

The Vatican has not issued any statement to clarify the statement of the Argentine religious leader.

However, Jesuit priest Antonio Spadaro, considered close to the Pope, told media outlets of the Italian Episcopal Conference that the part of the film where Francis talks about homosexuals comes from an interview that he had given to Mexican broadcaster Televisa in May 2019.

This part of the interview had not been released at the time.

Spadaro has also insisted that the Pope’s word did not constitute a change in the Catholic Church’s doctrine and that Francis had already offered support to homosexual persons on earlier occasions.

 

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