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(Editor’s note: Fr. Augustino posted a new video retracting his allegation and admitting that the Pope does seem to be calling for legal cover for same-sex unions.  You can watch his retraction video here)

October 27, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As you’re probably aware, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the recently revealed statements from Pope Francis expressing his support for same-sex civil unions. 

I wanted to do a quick fact-check on Catholic commentators who are stating that the media has misrepresented the Pope and that the original Spanish meaning was lost in translation.

One Catholic priest in particular, EWTN’s Fr. Agustino Torres, has released a video that has around 170,000 views arguing this very point. Watch it here

As a native Spanish speaker and as a lawyer, I’m afraid that the good friar is mistaken in his arguments.

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PETITION: Ask Pope Francis to clarify and rectify scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions
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Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).

As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.

In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.

Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.

Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."

And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."

But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.

We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.


'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' -

'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' -

'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' -

'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' -

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Yes, the Pope uses the term “convivencia civil,” which, if translated literally, would mean, “civil coexistence.” The problem with this interpretation is that it ignores the crucial fact that the Pope was referring to statements he made as Cardinal of Buenos Aires, during the debate on same-sex “marriage” and homosexual civil unions in Argentina.

In 2002, after Bergoglio was installed as Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires passed a local law legalizing same-sex civil unions. This was followed by other local jurisdictions around Argentina.

Eventually, in 2008, same-sex civil unions were adopted nationally by the government. As always happens, same-sex civil unions opened the door to same-sex “marriage” and by 2010, Argentina had adopted same-sex “marriage.”

The key thing to understand here is that in Argentina, same-sex civil unions are referred to as “uniones convivenciales.” In daily usage, the pope’s words “convivencia civil” are synonymous with “uniones convivenciales.” The former is singular, the latter plural. 

This is even more clear when you consider that the context the Pope is speaking of is of forming a family unit. Thus, although he didn't use the word “uniones,” it would be nonsensical to interpret it in any other way.  A “ley de convivencia civil” is a law for homosexual “families” to be recognized by law, which is precisely what a homosexual civil union, or a “union convivencial” is in Argentina. There is no wiggle room here.

Undoubtedly, there are times when the Pope has spoken in an ambiguous way that might have been purposefully misunderstood by the media. But in this case, there is no doubt what the Pope meant was that he has supported and supports same-sex civil unions.

I am sorry, Fr. Agustino. I, like you, want to believe that the Holy Father would not go against the direct and consistent teaching of the Church, but, in this case, it’s an irrefutable fact. 

As a native Spanish speaker and as a lawyer, I assure you that there is simply no wiggle room for us to justify the Pope's statement as anything other than a contradiction to the teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church when it comes to homosexuality.

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