Pope backs LGBT civil unions - 2nd November 2020

Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic church, has said same-sex couples should be allowed to have civil unions. Historically, the Catholic church hasn't supported LGBT people, so his statement has come as a surprise to some.

His comments were made in a new film which was shown at the Rome film festival. "Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family,” he said. “What we have to create is a civil union law."

The film, 'Francesco', is a documentary on the life and teachings of Pope Francis. It covers the 7 years of Francis' papacy and focuses on issues that concern the pope, such as poverty, inequality, and the environment.

Francis has tried to be more welcoming to LGBT people since he was elected pope in March 2013. However, this is the first time he has supported same-sex civil unions.

As well as the pope's comments on civil unions, the film also shows him inviting a gay couple with children to attend church.

'Francesco' director Evgeny Afineevsky hopes the film will be available for homestreaming. The pope usually travels a lot and speaks to many people. However, at the moment, he can't go anywhere because of the pandemic. But Afineevsky says that with the film, "his words can travel." He wants to release the film now "so that his words and his actions can travel around the world."

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