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October 31, 2014
Claims that Pope supported gay civil unions disputed
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.- The director of the Catholic News Agency of Argentina (AICA) has told CNA that claims of Pope Francis supporting gay civil unions when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires are not true.

Miguel Woites, who works directly with the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina, the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and the Apostolic Nunciature, dismissed statementes made by Sergio Rubin, the author of an interview with Cardinal Bergoglio entitled “Over Heaven and Earth.”

Since Pope Francis’ election on March 13, media reports have circulated Rubin’s claim that the future Pope had supported homosexual unions as a possible political compromise in Argentinia. Rubin has been the only source used by the media for this claim.

In an article for the Argentinean newspaper Clarin, published on March 14, the day after Pope Francis’ election, Rubin wrote, “When debate on the gay marriage bill began in the country, Bergoglio proposed that the bishops adopt a moderate position and perhaps leave room for civil unions as a compromise.”

Days later, Rubin told the Associated Press that when Cardinal Bergoglio realized that same-sex marriage might be legalized, he suggested the Church support civil unions, a position that, according to Rubin, was rejected by the bishops.

Woites told CNA that Rubin’s statements about the future Pope Francis “are not true, they are totally inaccurate.”

“He never said who said it and when. It’s wrong to invent something like this out of thin air.  That article was severely criticized by the bishops. He probably was referring to (heterosexual) domestic partnerships, but not that anything be legalized,” Woites said.

He underscored that what Rubin said in his article “is an incorrect statement.”

In a letter to the Carmelite nuns of Buenos Aires on July 8, 2010, when the debate on homosexual marriage in the country was in full swing, then-Cardinal Bergoglio wrote, “Let’s not be naïve:  This is a not simple political struggle, but an attempt to destroy God's plan. It is not just a bill but a move of the Father of Lies, who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”