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Rome Reports

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Pope's take on civil union laws for same-sex couples, and marriage in the Church


Marriage is a sacrament. Marriage is a sacrament. The Church does not have the power to change the sacraments from how the Lord instituted them.

(You ask me about) laws that seek to help the situations of many people with a different sexual orientation.

And it is important to help these people, but without imposing things that, by their nature, are not part of the Church.

But if they want to live together—a homosexual couple—states have the legal possibility to support them, to give them security with regard to inheritance, health.

The French have a law for this, not only for homosexuals, but for all people who want to be partners. But marriage is marriage.

This is not the same as condemning people who are like this. No. Please. They are our brothers and sisters. We must accompany them.

But marriage as a sacrament is clear. It is clear. But let there be civil laws... Three widows for example, who want to join under a law in order to have health services or share an inheritance among themselves. These things are done... There is the French PACS, that law, I don't know exactly... but it has nothing to do with homosexual couples. Homosexual couples can use it, they can use it.

But marriage, marriage as a sacrament, is between a man and a woman. Sometimes, what I was saying is, that there is confusion. We must—all of us are equal—respect everyone. The Lord is good and will save everyone. He wants everyone's salvation, but please do not make the Church renounce its truth.

Many many people of homosexual orientation turn to confession. They turn to a priest for advice; the Church helps them through life. But the sacrament of marriage is something else.