There might be large changes in the Catholic Church in the future. Pope Francis has become the first pontiff to express support for same-sex civil unions. He commented about this in an interview in a documentary film called ‘Francesco’ which premiered at the Rome film festival on Wednesday, October 21.

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that,” said Pope Francis, causing very powerful reactions all over the world.

Bored Panda has collected some of the best reactions to the pontiff’s announcement for you to look through, dear Pandas, so scroll on down, upvote your faves, and share your thoughts with everyone in the comments. Bored Panda reached out to Andreas Harsono from the Human Rights Watch to hear his take on the pope's comment. Read on for Harsono's insights about the effects of the pontiff's comment, how the Vatican might react, and what the effect on the Catholic world could be. We also contacted LGBTQ Faith UK to hear their take on the situation as well.

Finally, we contacted James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of the book 'Building a Bridge,' on LGBT Catholics. He met with Pope Francis last year in a private audience where they discussed LGBT Catholics. "I had seen the documentary a few weeks ago, and was surprised and delighted by the Pope's candid comments about same-sex civil unions. He had said similar things when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, but saying them when he's pope and in such a clear way, on camera, is another thing. It's an important step forward in the church's relationship with the LGBT community," Father Martin told Bored Panda.

#1

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

UserNameIsTakenDamn Report

Louise B
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

This sums it up perfectly. I went to a catholic school. I was told that Jesus taught us that the most important thing is that we should love one another. He didn't mention any exceptions as far as I remember.

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#2

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

mhdksafa Report

SheHulk
Community Member
6 months ago

Feeding people for free and healing them without demanding their firstborn to be a slave for the rest of their lives? Commie bastard!

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#3

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

eatwellplaywelllivewell Report

Evelína Zlá
Community Member
6 months ago

This made me sob... a little. It's simple, humble, sincere... powerful...

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According to Father Martin, Pope Francis' comments stand on their own, especially since the pontiff has said similar things before. "At one point in the documentary, he says, 'I stood for that,' meaning that he had supported the same thing in Buenos Aires. So it would be hard to deny that he said what he said—especially since he said it before."

But what changes does the future hold? Father Martin said that change is coming. It's slow, but it has begun. "While Pope Francis hasn't changed official church teaching, the comments themselves are part of real change that he's instituted in the church's relationship with the LGBT community. He's changed the tone, the approach and the whole conversation around the LGBT community. Remember, he's the first pope even to use the word 'gay;' he's talked about the need to welcome and support LGBT people in families; and he himself has gay friends."

#4

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

Amy_Siskind Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
6 months ago

And that says a lot.

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#5

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

ShilinaGolez Report

Shelp
Community Member
6 months ago

And the papal infallibility, huh?

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#6

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

Father James Martin, who is a Jesuit priest, told Bored Panda that he spoke with Pope Francis last year in a private audience during which they discussed LGBT Catholics.

JamesMartinSJ Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
6 months ago

Fourth, Catholics now have no choice but to support gay marriage too.

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Harsono from the Human Rights Watch explained that he's based in Jakarta, in Indonesia, where Pope Francis' comment may be met with some confusion.

"It is the largest predominantly Muslim country in the world. Indonesia is also seeing the rise of Islamism, discriminating LGBT individuals from transgender women who run hair salons to gay police and military officers. The Pope statement will puzzle many Muslim clerics in Indonesia. The progressive clerics will indeed welcome the Pope position that LGBT individuals have the rights to love and be loved. The conservative clerics will oppose it, widening the gap between what they considered to be Christianity and Islamism."

According to the human rights activist, the Roman Catholic church is an old and large religious insititution, so there shouldn't be any surprise if there's infighting within the orders and the bishops. It also shouldn't come as a surprise if the Vatican puts out a clarification about the pope's comment in the documentary. However, Harsono remains optimistic.

"His comment will bring changes throughout the Catholic world. Perhaps, some areas will have slower change than the others. In countries with gay marriages, the pontiff's statement will proceed faster. I hope Indonesia, which has a small but economically strong Catholic communities, will proceed faster, at least, among Christians."

#7

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

DavidBegnaud Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Very clear! They say God makes no mistakes . You are who he made you to be. Sending love.

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#8

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

reidjhnsn Report

Ava-cado
Community Member
6 months ago

Are we not going to talk about the priests hair do?

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#9

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

artbychakim Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
6 months ago

No lightning, no shade, just positivity.

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Meanwhile, a representative of LGBTQ Faith UK told Bored Panda that they, like a lot of other people, were happy to see Pope Francis making the statement. "It is very welcome news. This is in line with what the pope said when he was archbishop in Buenos Aires, so this is what he actually thinks. The Vatican may roll it back a bit, but this is progress, even if it is the two steps forward, one step backwards type."

They continued: "It will not change things overnight, but it is another step on the road of progress. What it will do is make it harder for those who oppose same sex unions to simple hide behind the Roman Catholic Faith. It also offers support and encouragement to those who are campaigning for change."

The film ‘Francesco’ is directed by Evgeny Afineevsky and documents Pope Francis’ story over the last 7.5 years. The film covers issues that the current pontiff finds the most important, such as poverty, inequality, migration, and the environment.

#10

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

vault11dweller Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Agreed

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#11

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

reddit.com Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

YES! Even though I’m an agnostic, I like Pope Francis enough to defend him at all costs.

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#12

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

BoMhyb Report

bryguy
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes! Maybe a room full of straight people should not be deciding what rights LGBT+ people should have, same as a room full of men should not be deciding what rights women should have.

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According to The Guardian, as pope, Francis had never previously publicly backed civil unions for same-sex couples. The words “as pope” being key here. However, he has previously endorsed such legal arrangements when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

However, before some of you Pandas start celebrating, you might want to temper your expectations a bit. Fundamental religious changes take decades (if not hundreds of years) to take root. And keep in mind that civil unions might be similar to marriage, but they’re not exactly the same.

#13

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

RandiMax2 Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

That’s because she’s nuts and still believe in a document written at a time when the Oregon trail was still a hot thing.

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#14

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

karlojennuel Report

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
6 months ago

This is good. Their bigotry has been exposed as coming from themselves.

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#15

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

thegoodgodabove Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Why do I feel there should be a neener neener after that?

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While some people are ecstatic about the church modernizing and some powerful public figures have seen the pope’s comments as positive, other members of the faith aren’t thrilled by the news. Changing thousands of years of belief will take more than a single comment.

In the US, LGBTQ Catholics welcomed Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions. Meanwhile, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, was one of the first conservative Catholic leaders to publicly criticize the pontiff’s comment, writes AP.

#16

37 Of The Best Reactions To Pope Francis Endorsing Same-Sex Civil Unions

al.uxo._ Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

This comment has been deleted.

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#17

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

jude_bbosa Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
6 months ago

Awww. This one is cute. I like it. Thumbs up for all people. Love is love.

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#18

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

samtheebrat Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

I think what he really did was save a lot of lives. Whether from brutality of others or from suicide. Some people really struggle with their faith and sexuality. I think what he did was groundbreaking and smart. I'm not gay, nor have a child that is. But i`d be very happy as long as thats who my child is. The more it`s accepted, the better life will be for everyone. Just ♥ one another without bias. Spread it, it can grow. Its time now to observe all humans and the way they want to live. Why does peace seem harder to atain,than judgment or hate.Thank you Pope Francis. May the world watch your lead and join you. I`m sending such love out. Please just pass it on to anyone who needs it.

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#19

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

US_Latino Report

Mary Jo Marrese
Community Member
6 months ago

Love and applauded you . If anyone would do it I knew it would be you! I see a smile on God face!

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#20

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

reddit.com Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

Waah-Waah! I believe I can hear the world’s SMALLEST violin playing “My Heart Bleeds For You”.

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#21

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

Indrid_Mothman Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

“It’s just a flesh wound”. Off topic, I know. Can’t help it, big Monty Python fan...

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#22

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

jack929hfx Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Very correct.

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#23

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

FL0W3RCHYLD Report

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
6 months ago

Peter who?

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#24

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

glovelyday Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Naw, we just need a better Superior Court Justice . Shes no RBG or even close.

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#25

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

pawawawofficial Report

RATSMACKER
Community Member
6 months ago

this is funny because it is indeed true

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#26

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

HappyTh03093382 Report

Boopie Dew
Community Member
6 months ago

Well its time they learn.

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#27

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

ventinganxiety Report

earringnut
Community Member
6 months ago

Side bar... Um... Aren't social workers supposed to help people with disabilities? Like isn't that their purpose?

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#28

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

marcopedrosilva Report

Lynn Greene
Community Member
6 months ago

Hey pope, how about jailing your pedophiles. Or is that too hard for you?

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#29

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

uricyenby Report

Deniz Vitvitskiji
Community Member
6 months ago

Being straight and being homophobic are different things. Straight means you are attracted to the other gender, homophobic means you hate gay people.

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#30

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

elenaeper Report

Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
6 months ago

I was thinking they've put his hands on the wrong way around, then I noticed they've actually been severed. That's cool then.

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#31

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

HarveyFierstein Report

bryguy
Community Member
6 months ago

If you aren't a straight white man Trump doesn't like you. This is why he cannot condemn white supremacy or proud boys, he would have hardly any supporters left.

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#32

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

reddit.com Report

NoodleBear
Community Member
6 months ago

This is sad, people shouldn’t have to be in fear of someone hurting them because of what they believe

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#33

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

reddit.com Report

Pine
Community Member
6 months ago

I love this so much lmao!

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#34

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

TheEllenShow Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
6 months ago

Shame she couldn’t follow the Pope’s example and foster an inclusive, happy and safe environment for people to thrive in. Go away Ellen.

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#35

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

NatePickowicz Report

Evil Little Thing
Community Member
6 months ago

Also, the anti-homosexual verses in Leviticus were actually because of translation errors- originally they said not to f**k children.

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#36

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

reddit.com Report

Grigori Feresin
Community Member
6 months ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

same sex marriage cool? yes... just not at the church

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#37

Pope-Francis-Same-Sex-Union-Reactions

ariannazafra Report

Leah Helbig
Community Member
6 months ago

I dont know how God really feels no on does unless you can get it straight from him. And the pope is just a man. I don't care about gay marriage let them have it .

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