Pope Francis endorses same-sex unions but Kerala Bishops' council says reports are false

The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council said that the stance of the Catholic Church on homosexuality was unchanged.
Synod meet of Syro Malabar Catholic Church
Synod meet of Syro Malabar Catholic Church
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In the wake of Pope Francis’ recent statement that same-sex couples should be given the protection of civil union law, the Catholic Church in Kerala has come out with a ‘clarification’ saying that there is no change in its stance on homosexuality. The Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) in a statement even said that reports stating the Pope’s recent remark were ‘false’.

“The reports in media quoting Pope stating that homosexual couples and families should be given equal protection by law, is false. Live in relationship of homosexual couples are not seen as marraige by Catholic Church,” the statement said. Pope Francis’s recent statement in a documentary Francesco by director Evgeny Afineevsky, had received wide reception from many. “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Pope Francis had said. He also reportedly added that everyone has the right to be in a family and no one should be made miserable.

Though there are multiple reports citing the Pope’s remark in the documentary, the Kerala Catholic Church has dismissed it all, and bizarrely dubbed them false.

“In many countries homosexual relationships have been considered as civil relations. The church seriously thinks over this issue. The Pope's official stance is the pastoral concern that is raised in ‘Amoris laetitia’, the note prepared following the synod on families. The Pope has not made any change in that stance,” it said.

According to ‘Amoris Latetita’, Francis did not make any doctrinal changes on the Church’s stand, which does not recognise same-sex civil unions, but encouraged people to accept those from the community and be more empathetic. The statement by the Kerala bishops’ body however, added that ‘believers’ should not be misunderstood by the ‘fake news’.

The documentary Francesco premiered on Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. Pope Francis had in the past too, made statements supporting the LGBTQ+ community. In 2013, when asked about homosexuality, he is reported to have said “Who am I to judge if a person is gay and seeks God”. In 2014, there were reports that the Pope made a similar endorsement for same-sex civil union, but the Pope’s office had denied this.

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