by Leander Milbrecht
It was to be expected: The Vatican denied the Pope’s statements on same-sex partnerships, recently published in a documentary, and made it clear that Pope Francis’ statements do not change anything in the church’s doctrine on homosexuals.
In the documentary “Francesco” by Russian filmmaker Yevgeny Afineevsky, there is a 20-second sequence in which Pope Francis says that homosexuals “have the right to live in a family”. They are “children of God”.
“You cannot throw someone out of a family or make their life hell for it. What we need is a civil association law, in this way they are legally protected”.
Denials from the Vatican…
There is now an ‘official’ statement from the Vatican about the incident, which is often called “Moviegate”. In a letter from the Vatican Secretariat of State to the Apostolic Nuncios for forwarding to all Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, it says:
“it is obvious that the Pope has referred to certain state regulations, but certainly not to the church doctrine, which he has affirmed many times in recent years”.
Vatican’s Secretariat of State writes to bishops of the world (via nuncios) to brief them on Pope’s civil unions remarks, to show that they refer to “particular arrangements of the state” in respect of same-sex couples, and do not touch on “church doctrine”.
— Austen Ivereigh (@austeni) November 1, 2020
It is said that the Pope’s answers to two separate questions have been put together in such a way that they can be understood as one answer. The intervening context and questions have been deleted.
Afineevsky’s claim that Pope Francis gave him an interview while shooting the documentary is rejected by the letter – the statements are older and come from an interview Francis gave to the Mexican journalist Valentina in 2019. In this interview, Francis insisted that “it is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage.”
… Author unknown
Who commissioned and approved this correction is not known. The letter was not printed on the official letterhead of the Vatican. A signature, which would allow conclusions to be drawn about the author, is also missing.
Whether the Pope was aware of this and whether, as claimed in the letter, it was in fact he who asked for the correction remains unclear.
- matthew-waring-ZobjSHXoL28-unsplash: By Matthew Waring / CC0
- nacho-arteaga-g453jQQnJ-U-unsplash: By Nacho Artega / CC0
- ashwin-vaswani-1077937-unsplash: by A. Waswani / CC0
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