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Pope Francis & same-sex civil unions: Local priest responds

Parish priest, Fr Dexter Brereton, responds to media reports of Pope Francis’ comments on same-sex civil unions: “Accept the challenge of being truly pro-life”

Beloved in the Lord, media reports emerged this morning that the Holy Father Pope Francis has lent his support to the establishment of “civil unions” to cover same-sex couples, members of the LGBTQ+ community. His remarks were made in the context of a new documentary ‘Francesco’ according to the New York Times.  Pope Francis is reported to have asserted: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.” In the Washington Post, he is also quoted as saying: “They’re children of God and have a right to a family…nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

It must be borne in mind that none of these media reports have been confirmed by the Pope or the Holy See.


I wish to very respectfully say to my brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church that none of this signals any change in the Church’s teaching on marriage. As Catholics, we believe that marriage is the coming together of one man and one woman in an intimate partnership of life and love (48) through the mutual exchange of vows and which has been raised by Christ to the level of a sacrament, a concrete sign of an inner spiritual reality. We continue to believe that this marriage and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of offspring. (48, Gaudium et Spes). We sincerely believe that it provides the best context into which human beings should be born.


The Church often refers to herself as a mother. As a true mother, she is also truly pro-life, understood not merely as physical life, but the dignity and happiness of all her children. In this light, it must be stated that the Holy Father’s proposals should be correctly understood as a way of guaranteeing basic human rights, the most basic protections of the law, to the members of the LGBTQ+ community, who remain our brothers and sisters, beloved sons and daughters of God. Let us as one Catholic community continue to accept the challenge of being truly pro-life.