BOSTON (CBS/AP) – A day after Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley issued a statement, saying it is not a groundbreaking shift in church teaching. O’Malley said it is more in line with Pope Francis’s longtime views.

“Pope Francis strongly and consistently teaches that marriage is between a man and woman for a lifetime and that this is God’s plan for having and raising children,” O’Malley said in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Boston. “The Pope’s endorsement of civil unions is not an endorsement of homosexual activity.”

The pope’s comments came midway through a feature-length documentary, “Francesco,” that premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis says in the film. “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

READ: Local Families Hopeful After Pope Francis Endorses Civil Unions

The Archdiocese of Boston is the fourth largest archdiocese in the U.S. with more than 1.8 million Catholics, according to its website.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)
  1. JimStark says:

    Now once the church allows clergy to marry, O’Malley will be all set.

  2. arnold deary says:

    Dear Cardinal O’Malley i agree with you that God made marriage for a man and a women and that gay marriage is not acceptable and the Pope had no right to go against Gods teaching ! i support you in your statement. if this thought continues in the church i will not support the church financially and possible suspend going to church all together . thank you

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