Denver Newsroom, Oct 23, 2020 / 22:05 pm
Amid an international fracas over Pope Francis’ words on civil unions in a newly released documentary, the pope’s remarks have begun to be used to criticize Catholic organizations facing ongoing religious liberty challenges in the U.S. – despite the pope’s very public alignment with these organizations on the issues of same sex marriages and adoptions.
In “Francesco,” a documentary that premiered Wednesday, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws, saying that homosexual couples need to be “covered” by the state.
The pope also affirmed that “homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” emphasizing that “nobody should be thrown out” of a family because of homosexuality, or “be made miserable.” Since the documentary’s release, those remarks have been proven to relate to children ostracized in their families because of their sexual orientation, while in the film they are presented absent this context, the result of heavy editing, with ambiguous implications.
The pope’s remarks have been distorted to suggest a tacit endorsement of adoption by same-sex couples, something Pope Francis has actually consistently opposed during – and prior to– his pontificate.
The Supreme Court is set to hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia on Nov. 4, a case that could impact faith-based adoption and foster care agencies affected by state and local non-discrimination ordinances around the country.
In 2018, the city of Philadelphia notified Catholic Social Services, as well as Bethany Christian Services, that their policies of not working with same-sex couples on foster care placements were discriminatory; the city stopped contracting with both services.
Catholic Social Services declined to alter its policy and has not had any new foster care placements through the city.
Litigation against the city was filed by Sharonell Fulton and Toni Simms-Busch, who have fostered more than 40 children. The lawsuit has now made its way to the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post’s editorial board commented on the case: