Pope Francis has once again shaken up the Vatican with his progressive politics, but this time, instead of weighing in on economic matters with little consequence to the Vatican (like the morality of capitalism, which the Pope has frequently attacked in his sermons), it seems he has touched a nerve by appearing to endorse same-sex marriage, a position the Church has vehemently opposed.
Bloomberg reports that the Vatican's massive media apparatus has gone silent, and that all of the Pope's spokespeople aren't returning reporters calls while struggling to formulate a statement of their own. It appears they were as taken aback by the Pope's comment as millions of practicing Catholics.
Neither the daily newspaper produced by the Vatican, nor the official Twitter feed of the Pope have made mention of either.
In an interview from the documentary film "Francesco", which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, the Pope appeared to break with Catholic dogman by saying all homosexuals are "children of God" and "have a right to a family." The Pope even mentioned a "Civil Union law", a much more progressive policy position than the Church has ever endorsed.
"They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it," he said, speaking in Spanish. "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that."
But some from inside the Vatican press shop have been talking - off the record, of course - with reporters, and they're saying that "a response is still being hashed out." That means that inside the Vatican, the notion of endorsing Civil Unions is probably being taken seriously, as the Church contemplates what would be its most progressive step yet under a Pope who has made his progressive approach to the Church a cornerstone of his reign. This wave of enthusiasm among the faithful that has yet to die out. But after COVID-19 forced Catholics around the world out of the pews for months, the Church probably understands that it must tread carefully as worshippers slowly return to Church.
Meanwhile, some have raised questions about when the Pope first made the remark, as the rest of his interview was virtually identical to an interview he gave last year to the Mexican broadcaster Televisa, though that interview didn't include any comments on homosexuality when it aired.