Vatican Says Pope Was Taken Out of Context on Same-Sex Couples

The Vatican walked back Pope Francis’s comments supporting same-sex unions, saying the pontiff’s words were taken out of context.

In a documentary first aired Oct. 21, the pope was shown saying that gay couples “have a right to a family.” This was seen as a significant shift from the Catholic Church’s long-held opposition to homosexual relationships, but so far the Vatican has refrained from officially commenting on the incident.

In an internal document for bishops first posted on Twitter by papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, the Vatican says that the pope’s answers to two different questions were edited as a single segment without providing appropriate context. The document’s authenticity was confirmed by a Vatican official.

The pope was referring to the right of gay people to be accepted by their families, the document said, while rejecting same-sex marriages in what was an unedited answer.

The two-page letter seeks to square off the pope’s ground-breaking comments on the documentary. It says that the pope was referring to legal frameworks in some countries where civil unions were allowed between same-sex couples and he was not breaking with church doctrine.

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