ROME – As the repercussions of Pope Francis’ revolutionary approval of same-sex unions, in which he called for a “civil union law” continue to rock the church – especially its conservative corners – it emerged that the Vatican initially censored the comments after the Pope brought them back in 2019.
Earlier this week, filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky launched his documentary Francesco on the life of the Pope at the Rome Film Festival. The film carries a lengthy interview with Francis in which he criticizes President Trump’s anti-immigration practices “cruelty in the highest form” and, in what is supposed to sound like the same interview, calls for a law on it. ‘civil union in front of the camera, adding: “That way they’re legally covered. “
But Mexican broadcaster Televisa confirmed to The Associated Press Thursday night that the comments were actually part of an interview they did with Francis in 2019, and that comments on same-sex unions had been “cut by the Vatican ”which reserves control of the final product. of any interview in exchange for access to the pontiff.
The Vatican only consents to television interviews with journalists if their team films and then distributes the edited version to the journalist who conducted the interview, which gives them full control over what is broadcast about the Pope. It is unclear if the Pope himself has a say in what is distributed or if it is left to his public affairs team who would undoubtedly understand the weight of such comments given the Tory backlash against this pontiff. .
The Televisa reporter who conducted the interview told The Associated Press that their program focused on clergy sexual abuse and, as such, comments on same-sex unions and same-sex marriage (which the pope does not approve) were irrelevant to their topic. They also said that because Francis had made similar comments in the past, they did not find him newsworthy.
The Vatican declined to comment on Friday when asked if it had deliberately released the previously censored clip.
Afineevsky has had access to both the Pope and the media archives, which are notoriously redacted. A Vatican expert familiar with the inner workings of the Vatican media arm told the Daily Beast that there was nothing in the archives that “is not approved” or “cannot be found” suggesting that the Vatican may have maybe wanted the previously censored images to be released. Afineevsky declines to comment.
The Pope’s comments made headlines around the world. They have been welcomed by some and looked down upon by others. “There are a lot of bishops around the world, in the United States, in Poland and elsewhere, who say that same-sex civil unions are a threat to traditional marriage and who have really, you know, campaigned. against them”. Father James Martin, Editor-in-Chief of America Media, Told The flow. “And I think it’s going to make them think twice about talking about these things now, knowing how the Pope feels.
The Catholic Church’s stance on LGBT issues has been dire for decades, with a long history of senior Church leaders making inflammatory and discriminatory remarks. At the onset of the AIDS crisis, the church ignored medical advice during an epidemic and refused to bend the rules on condom use. Homophobia has been a very common line in the Church, all against a backdrop of homosexuality within the priesthood itself. It was Francis who, right after his election, admitted: “Yes, there is a gay mafia in the legacy of the Church” amid rumors that his predecessor Benedict XVI has resigned under pressure from the gay lobby .
Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American who is not a fan of Francis, released a scathing statement on the Pope’s endorsement on Thursday. He thinks the Catholic Church should stick to its long-standing mantra that gays are “inherently messy,” which was the party line before Francis was elected in 2013.
In his statement, Burke said the Pope, through his comments, caused great confusion, confusion and great error among the Catholic faithful. “It is a source of deep sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions so emphatically reported by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church,” wrote in part Burke. “Equally sad and disturbing is the turmoil, confusion and error they cause among the Catholic faithful, as well as the scandal they cause, in general, by giving the totally false impression that the Catholic Church has changed course, that is to say, has changed its perpetual teaching on these fundamental and critical questions.
The Pope has been drawn into political disputes before, often at the hands of those with a hidden agenda, such as when he visited the United States in 2015 and was essentially set up to shake hands with the clerk of the government. Kentucky County Kim Davis, turned Conservative. hero for challenging same-sex marriage licenses. Likewise, posting his liberal comments on same-sex unions, especially after being erased from the previous post by someone who thought it was unwise to post them, will surely serve to shake up the conservative sector of the Church at least as much as they do to show the Pope’s willingness to reach out to gay Catholics.
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