Pope Francis has voiced his support for same-sex civil unions in a film released this week, the ABC reports.
The film, Francesco, by Evgeny Afineevsky includes comments by the Pope considered his clearest support for the LGBTIQ community.
“They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” Pope Francis said.
He then commented on his support for legal recognition of same-sex couples, although not for marriage.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that,” Pope Francis said.
While he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis opposed same-sex marriage but supported legal protections for the rights of gay couples.
In the documentary, Pope Francis talks about Andrea Rubera, a gay man who, along with his partner, adopted three children, and who earlier had sent the Pope a letter explaining his situation.
He told the Pope that he and his partner wanted to bring the children up as Catholics in the local parish but did not want to cause any trauma for the children.
Mr Rubera says the Pope telephoned him several days later, telling him he thought the letter was “beautiful” and urging the couple to introduce their children to the parish but to be ready for opposition.
“His message and his advice was really useful because we did exactly what he told us. It’s the third year that they [the children] are on a spiritual path in the parish,” Rubera says in the film.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful but homosexual acts are. It teaches that homosexuals should be treated with dignity.
In 2013, Pope Francis said it was not his place to judge homosexuals and they should not be marginalised, but he also condemned the gay lobby as a “serious problem”.
The remarks, made to journalists as he flew back to Rome from a trip to Brazil, appeared to be more conciliatory towards homosexuals than his predecessor Benedict XVI.
“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” he said.
“The problem is not having this orientation, it is lobbying. That’s the most serious problem I think.”
Watch the Francesco trailer below.