Pope Francis Talks Same-Sex Civil Unions in Recent Interview

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By Ashley Thompson

In an Italian newspaper published today, the Pope is quoted as saying he could be open to accepting same-sex unions, so that gay couples can receive benefits.
If he does, he would be the first Pope ever to do so. Is the Pope trying to be more inviting to the gay community or are people reading too much into it?

"I'm ecstatic," says Representative Patricia Todd. "I was raised Catholic. I like this Pope a lot."

Todd, who is pushing for gay marriage in Alabama, says she sees his comments as a breath of fresh air.

"The trickle down effect will be great in that now it sort of opens up that dialogue in those churches and it's a step in the right direction."

And pastors in local churches are talking about the Pope's comments. Father Charles Troncale of St. Vincent De Paul says Pope Francis is trying to be more inviting but is not condoning gay marriage.

"If gay and lesbian couples are saying well, we need certain civil rights, he's saying that certainly should be looked at but don't call a civil union marriage."

Some Catholics say they can see why the Pope is open to accepting civil unions.

"Biblically it's wrong," says Christian Kevin Moore, speaking of same-sex marriage. "As far as the insurance, I think that's probably the only reason why they're trying to push this whole gay marriage thing, which is understandable."

And although Pope Francis isn't for same-sex marriage, Father Troncale says that doesn't mean the Catholic Church won't welcome gays.

"He's the chief teacher in the church so he's not going to be telling us how to forget the catechism or how to go against our teachings," he explains. "He's going to be trying to say though, how can we apply these teaching in the world today and how do we love people?"

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