For LGBTQ Catholics in North Texas, Pope Francis’ comments in support of same-sex unions was met with a wide range of reactions.
For many, the Pope’s remarks during an Italian TV documentary - were another sign the church was becoming more progressive.
“It is something where I hope that energy continues to build in the church,” said Mathew Klein.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The Pope’s reference to same-sex couple’s being part of the church “family” was something that especially resonated with many.
“I think what was really important and key for me was the use of the word family and the recognition that we are a family – whether you have kids or not,” said Joe Riggs.
But for others, the fact the Pope’s comments are considered unusual is a sign, in of itself, that much more need to be done.
“It is nice to see him support it from a personal perspective but there is still a significant part of the Catholic Church that remains opposed to all sorts of rights for LGBTQ people,” said Rafael McDonnell, who helps run the Resource Center in Dallas.
On Wednesday, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas told NBCDFW in a stament that “we are awaiting a statement from the Vatican on the film.”
The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth issued a statement, saying:
"The Church is obliged to hand on faithfully what she has received from Christ. It is the mind of Christ that marriage is an indissoluble bond between one man and one woman. The Church preaches and acts upon this truth, regardless of the passing opinions of nations, states, or cultures.
Comments recently recorded in the making of a documentary about Pope Francis regarding civil recognition of “unions” between homosexual couples appear to have led some to the erroneous conclusion that the Church’s teaching on marriage has changed or is about to change. Considering the above, faithful Catholics must insist that the Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed and cannot change.
In a 2014 interview published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis was asked about moves across Europe to legalize gay marriage or adopt civil union laws. "Marriage is between a man and a woman," he said. "Secular states want to validate civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, driven by the need to regulate economic aspects between people, such as ensuring health care. These are cohabitation pacts of various kinds, of which I could not list the different forms."
It is a misunderstanding of rights to suggest or infer that legal arrangements of civil societies can confer a status equivalent to marriage to couples who do not conform to God’s intention and design for marriage."