Pope Bergoglio on civil unions between same-sex couples

After Francesco's statements, pastor Luca Baratto, executive secretary of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy (FCEI) and editor of the "Culto Evangelico" heading, and pastor Daniela Di Carlo reflect on the 'revolutionary' event

Foto di Kai Pilger, da Unsplash

Rome (NEV), October 31, 2020 – The news is epochal: the Pope “opens” to unions between homosexual people. ‘Homosexuals are children of God and have the right to be part of a family’: the day after the publication of this declaration by the pontiff, there is room for a more in-depth reflection on the possible repercussions of this position.
“Bergoglio’s words are certainly a novelty – says Pastor Luca Baratto -, even if they are part of a debate that has been going on for some time in the Catholic Church and that we saw for example expressed a few years ago during the Family Synod. The novelty consists in modifying the official position of the Roman Catholic Church, as expressed in official documents, according to which endorsing the legal recognition of same-sex unions meant in fact approving a deviant behavior, obscuring the true values ​​of the family.
In Italy, the law on civil unions – a law for coexistence, to quote the Pope, continues Baratto – already exists, as result of the battles between civil society and part of the political world. However, there is no law against homophobia. The words of Pope Francis must be considered in the global horizon. Above all, it is to be hoped that the Catholic Church will follow its bishop in being more attentive to people’s rights. In fact, until now the impression has been that the Italian church considers its right to condemn homosexuality more important than the right to safety and dignity of homosexual people. However, this is more a problem of the Italian Catholic Church than of Pope Francis”.

“Homosexuals have the right to be part of a family. They are children of God and have the right to a family”: these would be the words of Pope Francis in the documentary ‘Francesco’, presented on 21 October at the Rome Film Festival. “What we need to do is a law on civil unions. In this way homosexual people would be legally covered”, the Pontiff would have said, adding “I defend this”. The theologian Daniela Di Carlo, pastor of the Waldensian Church in Milan, consulted about this news, defined this position, should it be confirmed as reported by agencies and media in these hours, “a revolution”. Therefore, if Francis’s declaration were true and confirmed, according to pastor Daniela Di Carlo “then perhaps a window would also open up for the priesthood of women: if there is such an innovative point of view on gender, this could represent a first step for other epochal openings”. The words of Jose Mario Bergoglio come in a complex period for the Vatican, after the case of Cardinal Becciu. “There could be a common thread between what happened, between the efforts made in the name of transparency, against scandals, and this new step forward. This is why I hope that at this point there will also be a yes to women, one day”, concluded Di Carlo.