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Pope Francis has endorsed same-sex civil unions in a new documentary. You can watch the trailer here:
In the documentary, entitled Francesco, the 83-year-old said: "Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.
"Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it.
"What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."
Francesco had its premiere at Rome Film Festival earlier today (Wednesday 21 October), and this comment represents his most direct endorsement of same-sex civil unions to date.
Reverend James Martin - a prominent Jesuit who has long advocated for the church to be more welcoming to LGBT members - said this was a move in the right direction.
Speaking to The Washington Post, he said: "I think it's a big step forward. In the past, even civil unions were frowned upon in many quarters of the church. He is putting his weight behind legal recognition of same-sex civil unions."
A synopsis of Francesco reads: "Francesco is the latest film from Oscar and Emmy-nominated Director Evgeny Afineevsky, featuring exclusive interviews with His Holiness Pope Francis, His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Mark Kennedy Shriver, Sister Norma Pimentel, and Juan Carlos Cruz, among others.
"Francesco is not a biographical film about Pope Francis in the traditional sense.
"Rather it is a film that shows us the world as it is today and a path to understanding what a better future can be for tomorrow as seen through the remarkable work of the Pope in the areas of climate change, migration, refugees, peace and religious tolerance, gender and identity justice, health and economic equality, and, by example, the meaning of inspired leadership."
You can learn more about the documentary here.
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