Pope Francis claims Pope Benedict XVI defended him against same-sex civil unions: report

Pope Francis has reportedly claimed in a new book that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, defended Francis' support for legal civil union protections for same-sex couples to prelates.

Excerpts from the Pope's new book, The Successor: My Memories of Benedict XVIwhich is scheduled for publication in Spain on Wednesday, claims that Benedict XVI defended Francis on the matter before an undisclosed group of cardinals, according to Reuters.

“They showed up at his home to almost judge me and they accused me in front of him of supporting same-sex marriage,” Francis said.

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The former pope is said to have helped the cardinals “distinguish” Francis' views on the subject, explaining to them that his position was “no heresy,” according to Francis' recollection in the book.

Pope Francis, who supported civil unions for gay couples while serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, became the first pontiff to do so in 2020.

“Gay people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis affirmed during an interview for the film “Francesco”.

“No one should be thrown out or made miserable because of it,” he added. “What we need to create is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

The Vatican's Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church last December when it issued “Fiducia Supplicans,” which allows priests to bless “couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing it in any way. the church's perennial teaching on marriage.”

After the leadership attracted opposition from Catholic bishops, mainly in Africa and Eastern Europe, the Vatican later published five pages of explanation to the leadership.

The Vatican insisted that “the document is clear and definitive about marriage and sexuality,” adding that the “non-ritualized form of blessing” authorized by the declaration “is not intended to justify anything that is not morally acceptable,” but instead amounts to ” answer of a priest to two people who ask for God's help.”

Other Catholic prelates pushed back against any claim that Benedict would have endorsed the leadership.

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller of Germany claimed during an event marking the first anniversary of Benedict's death last December that the declaration “would never have happened. [under Benedict] because it was so ambiguous”, according to Reuters.

Mueller, who served as the head of the Vatican's doctrinal office before Francis removed him in 2013, denied the metaphysical existence of marriage between two members of the same sex.

“There is no such thing as gay marriage,” he said. “It does not exist, it cannot exist, despite the ideologies we have [today],” he said.

In 2003, Benedict XVI – who was then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and prefect of the Vatican's doctrinal office – signed a document asserting that compassion for homosexuals in the church “cannot lead in any way to the approval of homosexual behavior or to the legal recognition of homosexuals. unions.”

Other parts of Francis' new book detail the political maneuvering behind the 2005 conclave that led to Benedict's election after the death of John Paul II, according to The Associated Press.

Francis, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, claims that some of his fellow cardinals “used” him to siphon votes away from then-Cardinal Ratzinger during the 2005 conclave.

“They told me later that they didn't want a 'foreign' pope,” said Francis, who ultimately supported Benedict's election.

Source: www.christianpost.com

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