Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions in a documentary titled Francesco, marking a huge departure from the Vatican’s past position.

“Homosexuals have a right to be part of the family,” he said in the film, according to NBC News. “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

Pope Francis explains that “what we have to create is a civil union law,” adding that "that way, they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

This is the first time that Pope Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions as the pope. During his tenure as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis advocated for civil unions for gay couples as a proxy for same-sex marriages.

Francesco was directed by Oscar-nominated Evgeny Afineevsky, who characterizes the Pope as the great connector. The documentary covers a number of topics, including racism, climate change, sexual abuse, migration, human trafficking, politics, and relations between Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Afineevsky himself is a Russian-born Jew.

The doc also focuses on the Pope’s severe misunderstanding of the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, and his public apology regarding the matter.

Francesco also features the story of a gay man, Andrea Rubera, who adopted three children with his partner and hopes to raise them in the Church. Additionally, it highlights the story of Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean survivor of clergy sexual abuse, who says that during his first meetings with the Pope in 2018, Francis reassured him that God made him gay.

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