Pope Francis reveals Benedict XVI's support on LGBT rights

Pope Francis disclosed in a forthcoming book that his predecessor, Benedict XVI, supported him on the issue of civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

Publication: 02.04.2024 - 16:15
Pope Francis reveals Benedict XVI's support on LGBT rights
Abone Ol google-news

Set to be released in Spain on Wednesday, excerpts from the book were shared early with several media outlets, including Reuters. While maintaining the Catholic Church's stance against same-sex marriage, Francis has advocated for the legal protection of same-sex couples through civil unions.

This approach marks a significant openness toward the LGBT community during Francis's 11-year tenure, a stance not typically associated with the more conservative Benedict. Francis recounted an instance when a group of cardinals complained to Benedict about Francis's "heresies" regarding civil partnerships. According to Francis, Benedict defended him, clarifying to the cardinals that Francis's comments did not constitute heresy.

The revelations come from "Pope Francis. The Successor: My memories of Benedict XVI," a Spanish-language book based on interviews with journalist Javier Martinez-Brocal. Francis had previously mentioned Benedict dismissing a complaint about his stance on civil unions in February 2023 but had not provided extensive details until now.

In another bold move, Francis permitted priests to bless same-sex couples in December, igniting backlash from conservative circles. He insisted, however, that this gesture did not equate to formal recognition of non-heterosexual relationships. The book does not suggest that Francis discussed this decision with Benedict, who had lived in the Vatican until his passing in late 2022 after his resignation in 2013.

Francis also touched on his relationship with Benedict and their unprecedented coexistence as "two popes." He specifically mentioned a challenging relationship with Benedict's secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, who published a critical book about Francis shortly after Benedict's funeral. Expressing disappointment, Francis lamented the timing and content of Gaenswein's publication.

Furthermore, Francis, now 87 and facing health challenges, shared his intentions to simplify future papal funerals. Under his directive, the tradition of lying in state for deceased popes will be discontinued, a practice observed for Benedict and his predecessors.

Most Read News