Provide your email for confirmation

Tell us a bit about yourself

country *
province *

why we ask about location

Please provide your email address

Login

To share your thoughts

Don't have an account?

Login with email

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue signing in. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Sign up

Ready to get started

Already have an account?

Sign up with email

By signing up you agree to Rappler’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue registering. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Join Rappler+

How often would you like to pay?

Monthly Subscription

Your payment was interrupted

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

Your payment didn’t go through

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

Vatican says Pope's backing for gay unions no challenge to marriage

The Vatican has sought to tamp down discord over Pope Francis' backing last month for same-sex civil unions, reiterating that he did not question the Catholic dogma of marriage being between a man and a woman.

A note sent to papal ambassadors late last week by the Secretariat of State – the Vatican's highest bureaucratic authority – hammered home that there had been no chance in Church doctrine.

"It's clear that Pope Francis was referring to certain arrangements by states, certainly not to Church doctrine, which has often been reaffirmed over the years," the authority said in the document, published by envoy to Mexico Archbishop Franco Coppola among others.

Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire reported that the letter had been intended for circulation to bishops around the world.

In a documentary that premiered at the Rome Film Festival last month, Francis stunned many with his comment that gay couples should be allowed to have legally recognised civil unions.

"These are children of God, they have the right to a family," the Argentine pontiff said. "What we have to create is a law of civil union, they have the right to be legally protected."

The quotes shown in a film by documentarist Evgeny Afineevsky were originally recorded as part of an interview Francis gave to a Mexican journalist in 2019, but had never before been shown.

Their release sparked fears among some traditionalists that the pope might in fact favor gay marriage.

Ultra-conservative German cardinal Gerhard Mueller – a former Vatican head of dogma retired by Francis in 2017 – said he had received calls from "disturbed" fellow Catholics.

"The pope is not above God's word," he told Italian daily Corriere della Sera the day after the documentary was released.

Catholics could not recognize gay civil unions because they could represent a "first step" towards gay marriage, Mueller added.

In its note to ambassadors, the Vatican argued that the documentary makers could have "caused confusion" by editing out the questions Francis had been asked.

Elsewhere, the pope has said that "always among human beings, and not only in the Church, (marriage) has been between a man and a woman. You can't just change that like that." – Rappler.com