Pope Francis calls for same-sex civil unions in the church

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Wednesday, Pope Francis called for the creation of civil union laws, the first pope in history to do so. The Pope declared, “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God.”

And some local Catholics, like Ned Irvine, are celebrating:

“He is the leader of my faith, and church is my home. My faith home. So to be able to feel like my husband and I can go at any time gives me a lot of joy and relief.”

Though Paul Wilkes, a local Catholic writer and journalist says not everyone will be as thrilled.

“I think some will say this is not a good thing,” says Wilkes, “and there will be those like me who will say I’m very, very happy it’s happening.”

The Pope made the declaration in a documentary called Francesco released today. His statement was a significant shift after centuries of the church calling homosexual activity “intrinsically disordered,” meaning choosing sin over God.

“Now that’s a tough pill to swallow for all the millions of gay people,” Wilkes continued. “And what the Pope is doing I think is saying, look. I don’t believe that. And I believe if there is love between two people, they ought to have the opportunity to be together.”

Though we reached out to priests and parishes in the area, none were available for comment.

However, some local religious leaders hope the pope’s comments will inspire further acceptance within the Vatican.

“The way that we treat people and accept them into the local church and then the larger church as a whole should be done on a humanitarian basis,” states Reverend John McLaughlin, a pastor at St. Jude’s M.C. Church. “So we understand that we are all people, we are all created by God, and that nothing should separate us from God and therefore should not separate us from the church.”

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