By Lee Brown. October 21, am Updated October 21, am. The documentary also includes a story of the pontiff encouraging two Italian men in a same-sex relationship to raise their children in their parish church, the report said. In the past, even civil unions were frowned upon in many quarters of the church.
Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions for the first time as pontiff
Pope Francis OKs same-sex civil unions, 'the right to be in a family'
What are the basic facts about the document? An apostolic exhortation is a pastoral document in which the pope exhorts the Church. Although it contains doctrine, its primary focus is pastoral care. Apostolic exhortations are different from encyclicals, which do focus on doctrine.
Pope Francis faces divided Catholic Church after backing same-sex civil unions
Even before the pope's comments Wednesday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte supported a law that would recognize civil unions in same-sex relationships, his spokesman said in a televised briefing. Still, conservative Catholic politicians have resisted legislation to recognize same-sex civil union or marriage fearing the ire of influential church leaders. A document from the Vatican's doctrine office, then led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, stated that the church's respect for homosexuals "cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. Following Francis' remarks in a documentary, Thomas Tobin, the conservative bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, immediately called for clarification. Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics.
Francis, who became pope in , gave earlier, oblique signals interpreted as openness to recognizing same-gender civil unions. He has usually framed his comments in pragmatic, curious terms — as someone noticing the possible need for legal recognition for existing families, so they can access civil benefits such as heath care. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit who has advocated for the church to more openly welcome LGBT members, said in a phone interview on Wednesday. In the past, even civil unions were frowned upon in many quarters of the church.