(Photo Credits: Benhur Arcayan, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Francis made history as the first pontiff ever to call for civil union laws for same-sex couples in a documentary titled “Francesco” that premiered at the Rome Film Festival this Wednesday, October 21.

The new documentary, which is set to première in North America this coming Sunday—October 25, 2020—is about the life and teachings of the pope. 

There was reportedly a part in the film about Pope Francis’ pastoral outreach and care for the LGBTQ people where he called for nations to create laws that will protect LGBTQ couples because they have a right to be in a family. He said:

Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.

Pope Francis then told Evgeny Afineevsky, the director of the film: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.” Pope Francis added, “I stood up for that.”

Various reports say that Pope Francis was against the efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010 while he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He, however, is said to have privately supported the idea of civil unions as a compromise.

In addition, a part of the film also features a story about the pontiff encouraging a gay Italian couple to raise their children in their parish church. Reportedly, one of them commented that their parish church was “greatly beneficial to his children.”

Meanwhile, Oscar and Emmy-nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky, whose works included Cries from Syria and Pray for Ukraine, explained that in “Francesco,” he “tried to present the pope as he saw him, and that the film might not please all Catholics.”

Afineevsky said: 

“I’m looking at him not as the pope, I’m looking at him as a humble human being, great role model to younger generation, leader for the older generation, a leader to many people not in the sense of the Catholic Church, but in the sense of pure leadership, on the ground, on the streets.”

Read more about this story here and here.

Having said all that, we have taken a look at what the netizens are saying about Pope Francis’ declaration. Check out below some of the reactions that we’ve gathered from Twitter:

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