Archbishop of Bombay clarifies Pope Francis' remarks: This is not a call for gay marriages

Updated: 28 October, 2020 07:17 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

Archbishop of Bombay says pope's statement on same-sex marriage featuring in a new film was 'misunderstood and misinterpreted'

Cardinal Oswald Gracias
Cardinal Oswald Gracias

After several enquiries, the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, issued a clarification on Tuesday about Pope Francis' remarks on same-sex marriages, made in an interview for the feature length documentary, Francesco. The Cardinal released a press statement in his capacity as the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) on Tuesday, in which he said that he considered the clarification "necessary."

In this interview to a press agent what he has said is that some protection should be given to those who are living together," read the clarification. "This is not a call for gay marriages to be recognised, and certainly not the Catholic Church's recognition of them. Church doctrine drawing from Sacred Scripture and Tradition, is clear and has not in any way been diluted. Pope Francis in his reflections expresses his concern that these people can be in distress and seeks some civil protection to safeguard their interests."

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims in St Peter's square during his Sunday Angelus prayer. Pic/AF
Pope Francis waves to pilgrims in St Peter's square during his Sunday Angelus prayer. Pic/AF

The clarification further stated that "there is no change in Church doctrine at all" and that "Pope Francis' comments were made in full consonance with what he has repeatedly said: show compassion, reach out to the peripheries, protect the weak etc." It concluded that when translated from the original Spanish, the comments made by Pope Francis to the press agent, read: "homosexual persons have a right to family."

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"It is clear that the Holy Father is referring to the family of birth. This is further clarified when he later states that such a person should not be thrown out of the family, just because of his sexual orientation." Speaking to mid-day, President of the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) Melwyn Fernandes welcomed Cardinal Gracias' clarification on the issue.

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First Published: 28 October, 2020 07:03 IST

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