A note, sent to all the nuncios by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, confirms the remarks about civil unions between homosexuals made by Pope Francis in the documentary “Francesco.” It thereby confirms the serious opposition of the reigning Pope to his two immediate predecessors. And through them, to enduring Catholic doctrine.
The note sent to the nuncios by the Secretary of State was posted by Mgr. Franco Coppola, nuncio in Mexico, on his Facebook account. Contacted by the cath.ch agency, the nuncio confirmed that this was a document from the Secretariat of State. Two other nunciatures, including that of France, confirmed having received this note, according to I. Media.
What does the note from the Secretary of State say?
This text offers “some useful elements” to give “an adequate understanding of the words of the Holy Father” quoted in the documentary. It begins by giving the genesis of the words heard in the film, a background that was already more or less known.
The pope’s words in “Francesco” were thus taken from two different interviews. A first response concerns the respect and pastoral care towards homosexuals in general, and in the family in particular. Francis refers to §250 of Amoris laetitia, as the text emphasizes.
The Pope then responds to a question about his opposition, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to a law on “equality of marriages for same-sex couples.” François was then opposed to this name. He says it is “incongruous to talk about same-sex marriage.” He repeated the same thing in his interview-book: The Path to Change: Thoughts on Politics and Society, Pope Francis and Dominique Wolton.
But what is new is what he adds next. As the note explains, “in the same context he spoke about the right of these people to have some legal coverage: ‘what we need to do is have a civil cohabitation law; they have the right to be legally covered. I stood up for that.’”
The text recalls that François had said something similar in an interview in 2014: “Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions in order to regulate various situations of cohabitation, driven by the demand to regulate economic aspects between people, such as the guarantee of health care. These are cohabitation agreements of different kinds, of which I cannot give a list of the different forms. We must see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.”
The note concludes: “It is therefore clear that Pope Francis is referring to certain state provisions, and certainly not to the doctrine of the Church, which has been reaffirmed time and time again over the years.”
The note seeks to evade the issue, but it confirms the seriousness of the remarks
Bishop Marcello Semeraro had already tried to say that Pope Francis had not touched the doctrine. But he conceded then that this doctrine, fortunately, had changed a lot, because the Church has changed a lot, because the world has changed a lot ... The note, it simply says that the Pope did not modify the doctrine on marriage.
But the problem is not there. It is in the fact that, what Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, defended in 2010, had been clearly condemned by Pope John Paul II, in a text published in 2003. This document had been prepared by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a certain Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope in 2010 under the name of Benedict XVI.
A previous article gave the conclusion of this text entitled: Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons. The conclusion says this:
“The Church teaches 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” (no.11).
It is specified in no.10 that: “If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians.” As a result, “ the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against” such legislation on same-sex unions. “To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral,” it concludes.
In the documentary - which is neither a magisterial act nor an official act - Pope Francis defends the legalization of homosexual unions, and he says he has been defending it for years. This was confirmed by an article by Mgr. Hector Aguer, former archbishop of La Plata, Argentina, which appeared on InfoCatolica on October 28. Archbishop Aguer revealed that during a plenary meeting of Argentinian bishops, Cardinal Bergoglio proposed recognizing same-sex civil unions. But the majority rejected the proposal.
The Vatican award-winning documentary “Francesco” is being shown worldwide. It encourages, through the mouth of the Pope, the acceptance of civil unions between homosexuals, and, consequently, it encourages Catholic politicians to support laws in this direction.
The Secretariat of State must now explain how an act, designated as “gravely immoral” in 2003 by a text of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has today become a good act, since it “must be done,” according to the reigning Pope.
The words of Francis in the documentary are, in the strict sense, a scandal: a very serious scandal, because it emanates from the pulpit of Peter.