In a new documentary that premiered on October 21 at the Rome Film Festival, Pope Francis made a statement in support of civil unions for same-sex couples—his strongest statement in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
In Francesco, the pope spoke in favour of civil unions for same-sex couples, a position that's seemingly in opposition with the rest of the Roman Catholic Church.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” Pope Francis said to the director of the film, Evgeny Afineevsky, per the New York Times. “I stood up for that.”
“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” he also said in the documentary, per American Magazine. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable because of it.”
Matteo Bruni, a spokesman for the Vatican, reportedly declined to comment to the Times until he had seen the movie and the pope’s remarks.
That hasn't stopped many from sharing their thoughts on the Pope's backing of same-sex civil unions, calling the comments "historic".
Pope Francis has never voiced his support for same-sex civil unions, but he has previously spoken on LGBTQIA+ rights.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said in 2013.
While the Pope's latest comments are undeniably a step in the right direction, many noted that the Catholic Church has more work to do when it comes to LGBTQIA+ acceptance. “Congratulations to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church,” one user tweeted. “Welcome to the 1990s!”