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Pope Francis' comments on same-sex civil unions were taken out of context in documentary, Vatican says



The Vatican says Pope Francis' comments on gay civil unions were taken out of context and do not signal a change in doctrine.

In a letter sent on October 30 from the Vatican's Secretariat of State to papal representatives (nuncios) round the world, the Vatican said that two comments made by Pope Francis within the film "Francesco" by Russian-born director Evgeny Afineevsky were taken out of context.

The Vatican's letter was first published on the Facebook page of the Vatican nuncio to Mexico, Archbishop Franco Coppola, on Sunday.

It was explained that the film "Francesco" which premiered on October 21, spliced together parts of an old interview

A senior Vatican official has confirmed the letter's authenticity to CNN.

"More than a year ago, during an interview, Pope Francis answered two different questions at two different times that, within the aforementioned documentary, were edited and published as one answer without the right contextualization, which has led to confusion," the letter says.

Regarding the pope's comments within the film that "what we need is a civil union law," the Vatican's clarification says that the Pope was speaking about his opposition to a same-sex marriage law in Argentina ten years ago when the Pope was Archbishop of Buenos Aires .


In that context, the Vatican's letter claims, the Pope "had spoken about the rights of those people to have certain legal protection," but not about same-sex marriage.


"It is obvious that Pope Francis was referring to certain provisions made by states, and positively not to the doctrine of the Church, which he has reaffirmed numerous times over the years," the letter explains.


In the film, the Pope also says: "Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They're children of God and have a right to a family," which was interpreted by some to mean that the Pope was in favor of same-sex couples forming families.


However, the letter states that the Pope was speaking about the very fact that "a son or daughter with a homosexual orientation should never be discriminated against within the family."


Following the film's premiere in Rome on October 21, The film's director Afineevsky told the Associated Press that he had personally interviewed the Pope for his documentary.

However, journalists later discovered that the footage of the Pope interview was taken from a 2019 Mexico Televisa interview. The Pope's comments on civil unions weren't aired within the initial Televisa interview.

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