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Catholic church seeks clarity on Pope same sex statement

Leaders of the Anglican (left) and Catholic Churches (right) shake hands at the celebration.

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Catholic Church in Uganda is seeking clarification on the reported declaration by Pope Francis in support of civil unions for same-sex couples. The clarification will help the Church guide the congregation in Uganda, Rev. Fr. Philip Odii, the Episcopal Conference Secretariat Spokesperson said.

The Secretary-General of the Uganda Episcopal Conference Msgr. John Baptist Laura has communicated to the Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Luigi Bianco so that an official statement is sent from Rome on the matter.

Rev. Fr. Odii, told Uganda Radio Network that they can not currently make an official statement on the matter pending communication from Rome. “It is something we have not got clear, we need to know what exactly the Pope said because normally, Rome should give a statement clarifying what the Pope said,” Fr. Odii said.

The International media is awash with news indicating that Pope Francis has declared support for civil unions for same-sex couples. According to the CNN, the Pope made the remarks in ‘Francesco’, a new documentary film directed by Russian filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, that premiered on Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” the Pope is reported to have said in the film adding that…”What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.”

Pope Francis has in past interviews suggested that he is not against civil unions, but this is the first time that he has directly come out in favour of the same, as the Pope. But his comments differ from those of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who labelled same-sex marriage an intrinsic moral evil.

Both the Catholic and the Anglican Church in Uganda have in the past condemned the act of same-sex marriage saying that it is against biblical teachings.

The fight against the practice was key in the teaching of the former Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali and his predecessor Henry Luke Orombi who severally noted that they would not be intimidated to accept same-sex marriages.

“We cannot follow the teaching of the liberals of the West, which have told us the Bible is the book of the past and that men can marry men, and women can marry women. We are saying no to that liberal teaching …we have said no to same-sex marriage and we shall continue to say that until Jesus comes back,” Archbishop Ntagali once said.

In his term of service as the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Orombi stated that the Church of Uganda is committed to offering the gospel to those struggling with homosexuality, but upholds the biblical position on sexuality, namely that sexual intimacy is reserved for a husband and wife in a lifelong, heterosexual, monogamous marriage.

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