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Pope’s documentary comments endorsing same-sex civil unions 'not considered' official teaching: Singapore Catholic Church

Pope’s documentary comments endorsing same-sex civil unions 'not considered' official teaching: Singapore Catholic Church

Pope Francis greets people as he leaves after the weekly general audience, at the Vatican, October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

SINGAPORE: Comments made by Pope Francis in a documentary voicing support for same-sex civil unions are “not considered or admissible as official papal teaching", said the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore on Thursday (Oct 22). 

In a statement issued by the Archbishop's Communications Office, the Catholic Church said in response to CNA queries that it has not received an official statement or communication from the Vatican. 

“We do not know at the moment what the Holy Father actually said in the interview and the context of what he said,” the statement read. 

“Also, any quote from the Holy Father recorded in a documentary is not considered or admissible as an official papal teaching.” 

READ: Pope endorses same-sex civil unions in new documentary film

Pope Francis' endorsement of same-sex civil unions was made during an interview for a feature-length documentary called Francesco, which premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday. 

The comments came midway through the film that delves into issues the Pope cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, as well as the people most affected by discrimination.

"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," Pope Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the documentary. "What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

READ: Mixed Philippine reaction to pope nod on gay civil unions 

The Catholic understanding of marriage is defined as “the sacrament by which a baptised man and a baptised woman bind themselves for life in lawful marriage”, the Catholic Church of Singapore said in the statement. 

“This matrimonial bond has two properties, namely, unity and indissolubility. Unity of marriage means that because the man and woman are united in one flesh, Catholic marriages are monogamous. It is also indissoluble until death.” 

The Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage “remains unchanged” regardless of a civil union between two people of the same sex approved by the state, it said. 

“What is legal in society is not necessarily moral or licit for Catholics in the teaching of the Church.” 

Editor's note: This article has been updated after the Archbishop's Communications Office issued a corrected statement which added the word "not" into this sentence: “We do know at the moment what the Holy Father actually said in the interview and the context of what he said.”

Source: CNA/hw(gs)

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