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Pope’s Comments on Civil Unions Could Shape Denominations

Pope Francis’ recent remarks endorsing same-sex civil unions and expressing support for homosexuality could shape the views of Catholic denominations across the world, according to the Dallas Observer.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis says in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday. “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

Jay Narey, president emeritus of Texas Stonewall Democrats, told the Observer that the pope’s statement “helps alleviate some of the feelings of guilt that many gay people grow up with, not just in the Catholic church, but in the Southern Baptist religion as well.”

However, Narey noted, “The Catholic church doesn’t move in years, it moves in centuries. I think all change in an institution this old is going to be incremental in nature.”

Methodist minister Eric Folkerth of Dallas added that “even for those of us who are Christian, but not Catholic, people pay attention to the pope and they pay attention to his words.”

The Catholic Diocese of Forth Worth told NBC Fort Worth that “Comments recently recorded in the making of a documentary about Pope Francis regarding civil recognition of ‘unions’ between homosexual couples appear to have led some to the erroneous conclusion that the Church’s teaching on marriage has changed or is about to change. Considering the above, faithful Catholics must insist that the Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed and cannot change.”

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