In a new documentary, Pope Francis has called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples according to a report. The documentary, titled Francesco, is by Evgeny Afineevsky, the Oscar-nominated director of Winter on Fire. Francesco premiered Wednesday in Rome.
“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family," Pope Francis said in the film at one point according to Catholic News Agency. "They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it."
The comments came after Francis previously said that parents should love their LGBTQ+ children. But in the documentary, he went further.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”
Francesco, which tells the life and ministry of Pope Francis, will premiere in North America Sunday. It premiered in Rom at the Rome Film Festival. Other interviews in the project include Cardinal Luis Tagle and other Vatican figures. It examines the pope's "advocacy for migrants and refugees, the poor, his work on the issue of clerical sexual abuse, the role of women in society, and the disposition of Catholics and others toward those who identify as LGBT," according to Catholic News Agency.
The documentary also tells the story of Pope Francis counseling two Italian men who are in a relationship to raise their children in the church. One of the men said that sexuality was not mentioned in the conversation.
Last month, Pope Francis reportedly told a group of parents that The Church "does not exclude" their LGBTQ+ children "because she loves them deeply." He went on to say "The Pope loves your children as they are, because they are children of God."
The statements made in Francesco are his most progressive yet as pope in terms same-sex couples and come at a time where Italy has erupted in a series of rallies and protests over a possible law that would strengthen nondiscrimination protections and ensure they extend to LGBTQ+ communities. Catholic Bishops in Italy have opposed this extension.
That siad, Francis had previously supported same-sex civil unioins but as a deterent to allowing same-sex marriage. In 2010 Argentina legalized same-sex marriage and at the time Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires. It was there he that he supported the idea of same-sex civil unions in order to keep marriage exclusively heterosexual.
*This is breaking news and will be updated.