Bergoglio Backed Gay Civil Unions
Compromise offer shocked Argentine bishops
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2013 4:36 AM CDT
Updated Mar 20, 2013 6:12 AM CDT
In this Aug. 7, 2009 photo, the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio gives a Mass in Buenos Aires, Argentina.    (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

(Newser) – Pope Francis has made some uncompromising statements on issues like gay marriage but he also has a strong pragmatic streak that could hint at changes to come for the Catholic church, the New York Times finds. As the church in Argentina fought to prevent the legalization of gay marriage in 2010, the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio startled bishops with a proposal for the church to approve civil unions for gay couples.

Bergoglio—whose proposal was overruled—put forth the idea as the "lesser of two evils," his authorized biographer says. "He wagered on a position of greater dialogue with society." The cardinal publicly denounced the gay marriage bill as a "destructive pretension against the plan of God," but "he listened to my views with a great deal of respect," says a gay rights leader and theologian who received a swift response to a letter of complaint. "He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage."

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Mar 20, 2013 3:55 PM CDT
Religious people act like their holy books are the reason for their bigotry. They are just following God's word... But the real truth is, they belong to that religion, BECAUSE it agrees with, and reinforces their foundational belief systems, especially the scary ones. I am sick to death of the religious blaming GOD for their narrow minded snark.
Mar 20, 2013 11:15 AM CDT
Everyone has the right to get married to between man and a woman. God instituted the first marriage when the world was only six days old. To love God is to obey His command and not just by professing it. If you only profess it but disobeying His command, God said, “you are a liar”.
Mar 20, 2013 10:34 AM CDT
It's funny how the media in this country falls over itself to make this a Catholic issue. Orthodox Jews don't allow it; Muslims don't allow it; even the Dali Lama doesn't allow it. Yet 99.9 percent of the articles focus on Catholics.