Vatican City, Oct 23, 2020 / 07:50 am
A Mexican broadcaster said Thursday that the Vatican held back footage from a 2019 interview that it conducted with Pope Francis, in which the pope called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples. That footage appears in a documentary on Pope Francis released this week, but the Vatican has not yet explained the situation.
A spokesman for Televisa told the Washington Post Oct. 22 that “Someone at the Vatican gave us the part that we did broadcast, and later they gave the rest of the material to someone else.”
The missing footage appeared in the documentary “Francesco,” directed by Evgeny Afineevsky, which premiered Wednesday in Rome, prompting a global media firestorm.
The Vatican has not addressed why the comments that were excised from the interview it sent to Televisa later appeared in the documentary.
Teresa Villa, a spokeswoman for Televisa, confirmed to the New York Times on Thursday that the pope made the statement about civil unions in an interview with the broadcaster’s Vatican correspondent, Valentina Alazraki, which took place last year. The interview was recorded with Vatican-owned cameras, and the network was given footage of the interview — but apparently not all footage — after the interview.
While Alazraki’s interview was released by Televisa June 1, 2019, Pope Francis’ comments on civil union legislation were not included in the published version, and had not previously been seen by the public.
According to the Times, two other people close to the company, who asked not to be identified, said that the interview was filmed with Vatican cameras and the Vatican had control over the footage. The two sources also said that Francis’ comments on same-sex unions were cut from the version of the interview footage Televisa received from the Vatican.
The interview Pope Francis gave to Televisa appeared to have been shot in the same place, with the same lighting and the same appearance as the pope’s comments on civil unions, which drew questions this week about the statement’s origin, with conflicting reports coming from different sources.