Pope Francis, in a film released on Wednesday, has said that he thinks same-sex couples should be allowed to have “civil unions”.
The move is the clearest language he has used on the rights of gay people.
His comments, a significant departure from Vatican law and his predecessors, are contained in a documentary directed by Evgeny Afineevsky.
“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family,” he said in the film, which premiered on Wednesday.
“They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it.”
He was being interviewed for the documentary “Francesco,” which had its premiere at the Rome Film Festival today.
The thumbs up on gay rights came midway through the film as he delved into issues he cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, and the people most affected by discrimination.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful but that homosexual acts are.