LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The head of the Diocese of Lafayette released a statement concerning comments made this week by Pope Francis regarding homosexual civil unions.
In the upcoming documentary film, “Francesco,” the pope is quoted as saying: “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. 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.”
While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favor of civil unions as pope, and no pontiff before him had, either, according to the Associated Press.
Deshotel’s response is included in full below:
Media reports have been surfacing following the release of a documentary film, “Francesco”, in which the Holy Father seemingly offered an opinion supporting civil rights of those persons in same-sex civil unions. Such an opinion offered within the context of a movie, even if offered by the successor of St. Peter, can in no way be considered official magisterial teaching. While we wait for an official transcript of the Pope’s remarks, which can be taken out of context, I wish to reassure the faithful that the Holy Father’s statement does not change any doctrines of the Church which are drawn from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. All human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and are deserving of dignity and respect. Marriage is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in which one man and one woman are united in an indissoluble bond open to the procreation and education of children. All Christians are called to chastity according to their station in life. Sexual activity outside of the marriage between one man and one woman is gravely immoral. A summary of the official church teaching on the issue of same-sex attraction and homosexual acts can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 2357-2359.Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel