Monday, October 26, 2020

What did Pope Francis really say in "Francesco"?

New insights continue to emerge on Pope Francis' comments in the "Francesco" interview, including the clarification that “convivencia civil” in Spanish was mistranslated as "civil union". 

Even with this language clarification, there's still a need to further clarify what the Pope's idea of "convivencia civil" or "law of civil coexistence" was when he said he supported it. If his idea of "convivencia civil" included sexual relations, then he was essentially supporting SS civil union because there's really no difference between the two. However, a new CNA article offers strong evidences that the Pope's idea of "convivencia civil" doesn't include sexual relations or the homosexual acts. According to the CNA article, these are the actual words coming out of the Pope's mouth in the 2019 interview (an interview used and edited heavily by "Francesco" per CNA; highlight mine):

There, what I said is that they ‘have a right to a family.’ And that doesn’t mean to approve of homosexual acts, not at all.

Is "convivencia civil" without sexual relations a reality? Is it even practicable? Apparently it is according to the CNA article. It quoted Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, a theologian who's close to the Pope, to explain the concept of "convivencia civil" in Argentina and why it needed legal protection (highlight mine):

The Archbishop posted on Facebook that before he became the pope, then Cardinal-Bergoglio “always recognized that, without calling it ‘marriage,’ in fact there are very close unions between people of the same sex, which do not in themselves imply sexual relations, but a very intense and stable alliance. They know each other thoroughly, they share the same roof for many years, they take care of each other, they sacrifice for each other. Then it may happen that they prefer that in an extreme case or illness they do not consult their relatives, but that person who knows their intentions in depth. And for the same reason they prefer that it be that person who inherits all their assets, etc. This can be contemplated in the law and is called ‘civil union’ [unión civil] or ‘law of civil coexistence’ [ley de convivencia civil], not marriage.

The info above from CNA is important for understanding the Pope's comments in "Francesco". It gives us reason to believe that, at least in as far as his comments in the Francesco interview are concerned, his public appeal for legal protection for "convivencia civil" is not an attempt to redefine the meaning of marriage. Conceivably, his suggestion doesn't even contradict the 2003 CDC's opposition to "legal protection of homosexual unions" in which sexual relations are understood to be inherent.

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