October 21, 2020
Bishop Provost has issued the following statement on reported papal remarks on civil unions:
The media has reported remarks by Pope Francis emanating from a documentary premiered today in Rome. In this documentary, the news source reports that the Pope supported laws to protect civil unions between individuals of the same sex.
If this report is correct, then a clarification is needed. In 2003 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, with the explicit approval of Pope St. John Paul II, reiterated the Church’s authentic teaching that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions…. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity” (Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons, CDF, March 28, 2003, no. 11). Pope Francis reiterates this same teaching and quotes the document from the CDF in his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (251).
The constant teaching of the Catholic Church opposing the legalization of same-sex unions remains unchanged. Authentic teaching is summarized in the Catechism and in other papal pronouncements based upon Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, not in media interviews or documentary films.