Pope Francis: “Homosexual persons….are children of God, they have the right to a family”
That’s how Francis expresses himself in Evgeny Afineevsky’s documentary “Francesco” which had its worldwide launch on 21 st October 2020.
It’s not the first time this Pope has surprised us with phrases which, were they to have been overheard in everyday conversation, would have had no repercussions.
In fact, that is what is key: for the first time a Pope of the Catholic Church touches on the question of same-sex civil unions without disqualifying or condemning them. He treats them as naturally as would anybody who is fully conscious of the equality which is lived, and which must be protected, in civil society. Speaking as naturally as Jesus of Nazareth.
For Crismhom, an ecumenical LGBTI+H Christian community in Madrid, it is a great joy to receive these words. Even if they don’t make any change in the current norms of the Church, they presuppose a small but considerable step forward towards full equality of rights and the normalization of rainbow reality in the bosom of the Church (in this case, the Catholic Church, but, please God, in all other Christian churches and confessions as well). The Pope can be assured that Crismhom is walking alongside him on this path towards the full realization of our affective, sexual and gender reality as we journey with respect and with Love.
However well-integrated we may be within society, LGBTI believers continue to be grateful for this “living water” which comes in the form of words of justice and affection. For even those who have worked through a process of self-acceptance and are able to take part actively in their parishes or groups of shared faith remember their “long odyssey” through the desert. That odyssey has left us with a thirst that can only be quenched by the love which Jesus has shown us, and which we find repeated in declarations like this one.
Francis spoke in the first person, repeating the position he took when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The man has not changed, but his role on the chessboard certainly has.
We pray daily that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire our Pontiff, so that many other people and religious groups, within our hierarchy and outside it, may come to accept that diversity is an enrichment, and not a threat; and that the words of encouragement and affection may very soon be reflected in the correction of anachronistic and discriminatory norms.