Gay rights supporters may have found a friend in Pope Francis.
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — came out in support of civil unions for gay couples in 2010, Newser reports. It was during a time of spiritual chaos in Argentina, as the church there was battling attempts to legalize gay marriage. And Cardinal Bergoglio came forward with what he described as the “lesser of two evils” solution, Newser reports.
“He wagered on a position of greater dialogue with society,” his authorized biographer says, in the Newser report. He publicly criticized the gay marriage bill winding through Argentina’s legislature, but quietly supported same-sex union rights.
“He listened to my views with a great deal of respect,” one gay activist leader said, the biographer recounted. “He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.”
His same-sex union proposal was ultimately shot down during a heated gathering of bishops, Newser says. But some religion watchers say those 2010 discussions may indicate a new and more modern direction of the Catholic Church.