Pope Francis calls for civil unions for same-sex couples in a new documentary that premiered Wednesday in Rome.
In “Francesco,” the 83-year-old pontiff endorses laws allowing civil unions for same-sex couples, according to Catholic News Agency.
“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” Francis says in the film, according to news agency. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”
Francis also speaks directly on legal protections for LGBTQ couples in the film, saying “What we have to create is a civil union law.”
In 2003, the Vatican’s top theological body — the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — disavowed “legal recognition of homosexual unions.” Pope Francis’s immediate predecessor as pontiff, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, headed the Congregation as prefect then.
According to the Vatican’s official news service, the film — directed by Evgeny Afineevsky — features “exclusive interviews with Pope Francis himself.” The film is slated to debut in the U.S. next week.