Francis: Church Could Be OK With Gay Unions

Plus: He finds that 'superpope' myth offensive

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 5, 2014 6:31 AM CST | Updated Mar 5, 2014 10:42 AM CST

(Newser) – As an Argentine cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio backed gay civil unions, and Pope Francis is signaling in an interview that the Catholic Church as a whole could tolerate at least some of them. While maintaining the church's position that "marriage is between a man and a woman," Francis nonetheless conceded that "we have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety." He says civil unions can be a financial help to couples when it comes to matters like "medical care," notes CNN. Other highlights in his interview with Italy's Corriere della Sera, as per the AP:

  • He's been the subject of comic-book-inspired street art and a fan recently offered him an imitation Oscar, but Francis isn't digging the whole Superpope thing. "I don't like ideological interpretations, this type of mythology of Pope Francis. If I'm not mistaken, Sigmund Freud said that in every idealization there's an aggression. Depicting the pope as a sort of Superman, a star, is offensive to me," he noted. "The pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly, and has friends like everyone else. A normal person."
  • A new magazine looks unlikely to alter that "superhero" perception. Today sees the launch of Il Mio Papa, or My Pope—"a sort of fanzine," says editor Aldo Vitali. The new magazine will cover the pope's pronouncements, offering a weekly papal centerfold emblazoned with a quote. It will take a look at Francis' personal life, "but of course it can’t be like something you’d do for One Direction," Vitali tells the New York Times. "We aim to be more respectful, more noble."
  • Francis is opening up the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence, to members of the public, the Telegraph reports. "It was Pope Francis himself" who made the decision," says a Vatican official.

Graffiti depicting Pope Francis as Superman and holding a bag with writing that reads Values is seen on a wall of the Borgo Pio district near St. Peter's Square in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Graffiti depicting Pope Francis as Superman and holding a bag with writing that reads "Values" is seen on a wall of the Borgo Pio district near St. Peter's Square in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis delivers his blessing at the end the weekly general audience he held in St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Pope Francis delivers his blessing at the end the weekly general audience he held in St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, March 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
This image provided by Mondadori press office Tuesday, March 4, 2014 shows the cover of the new magazine Il Mio Papa, or My Pope, titled Have the Courage to Be Happy.
This image provided by Mondadori press office Tuesday, March 4, 2014 shows the cover of the new magazine Il Mio Papa, or My Pope, titled "Have the Courage to Be Happy."   (AP Photo/Mondadori press office, ho)
A person holds a mock Oscar statue as Pope Francis tours St. Peter's Square at the Vatican prior to the start of his weekly general audience, Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
A person holds a mock Oscar statue as Pope Francis tours St. Peter's Square at the Vatican prior to the start of his weekly general audience, Wednesday, March 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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