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Vatican spokesman scolds journalists who report papal 'opening' on same-sex unions

CWN - January 06, 2014

The Vatican press office has decried attempts by some Italian journalists to portray a comment by Pope Francis as an opening to approval of same-sex unions.

In a November 29 address to religious superiors, which was made public by the Vatican last week, the Pontiff said that religious involved in the education of children should be aware that children today come from widely diverse households. The Pope said that teachers must be sensitive to the feelings of children whose parents are divorced, unmarried, or homosexual. Some Italian commentators claimed that the Pope’s words were a signal to Italian politicians, who are this week taking up a proposal to approve “civil partnerships.” But Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, rejected that interpretation of the Pope’s talk as a “stretch,” and suggested that some journalists are manipulating the Pope’s words.

In his November talk, the Pope was reflecting on contemporary reality, Father Lombardi said. “Education and the proclamation of the faith naturally can’t ignore that reality and must be attentive to the good of the new generations,” he continued, saying that in proper context the intent of the Pope’s comment was “fairly obvious.”

Father Lombardi “absolutely did not express himself” on the current Italian political debate, the papal spokesman said. He reminded reporters that during his tenure as Archbishop of Buenos Aires the Pope had strongly opposed a bid for legal recognition of same-sex marriage, expressing views “completely different from those that some now seek surreptitiously to attribute to him.”

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