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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.

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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