Pope civil unions comment appears to be an edited mashup, and not in original transcript from 2019

I thought this deserved its own thread. So it appears the part about people having a right to a family was unrelated to civil unions. This is all from a 2019 interview. The “right to a family” part was about not disowning your kids and he is clear about the morality of same-sex acts.

The endorsement for civil unions for legal protections is not in the transcript, but might be from the same interview. Not sure if true, but I read that comment was in relation to Argentina when he opposed same sex marriage there, but thought there might be a compromise.

Clearly he sees approving certain legal protections of a civil union as not necessarily connected to approving same sex acts. Personally, I agree in theory, but in practice they are always treated as going in hand in hand and are treated as marriage and the Church has always opposed them for this reason.

Anyway, here is the relevant context of the 2019 interview (my bolding)–there’s more in my next post a few down.

They asked me a question on a flight - later it made me angry, it made me angry because of how the media transmitted it - about the family integration of people with homosexual orientation, and I said: homosexual people have the right to be in the family, people with a homosexual orientation have the right to be in the family and parents have the right to recognize that son as homosexual, that daughter as homosexual. You can not throw anyone out of the family or make life impossible for that …

Another thing is - I said - when you see some signs in the boys who are growing up and send them there … I should have said ‘professional’, it came out ‘psychiatrist’. I wanted to say a professional because sometimes there are signs in adolescence or pre-adolescence that do not know if they are of a homosexual tendency or is that the thymus gland did not atrophy in time, who knows, a thousand things, right? Then a professional. Title of that newspaper: “The Pope sends homosexuals to the psychiatrist.” Is not true! They asked me that same question again and I repeated it: ‘They are children of God, they have the right to a family, and such. "Another thing is … And I explained: I was wrong in that word, but I wanted to say this.’ When they notice something ra…. ’ “Ah it’s weird …” No, it’s not weird. Something that is out of the ordinary. I mean, don’t take a little word to cancel the context. There, what he says is ‘you have the right to a family’. And that does not mean to approve of homosexual acts, far from it.

Here is the Spanish original (I just ran it through google translate):


Thanks for posting that!


Here’s another interesting passage:

Q.- Pope Francis, there is something that catches my attention a bit. Acquaintances of yours from when you lived in Argentina, they say that you were a conservative to always use categories, let’s say like this, in doctrine.

A.- I am a conservative.

Q.- You made a whole battle over equal marriages, of same-sex couples in Argentina. And then, as he said, they say he got here, they elected him Pope and he seemed like much more liberal than he was in Argentina. Do you recognize yourself in this description made by some people who knew you before, or it was the grace of the Holy Spirit that gave you more …


A.- The grace of the Holy Spirit certainly exists. I always defended the doctrine. And it is curious, in the law of homosexual marriage … it is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage.


Here is the actual clip in question:

I see more than one commentator on there saying that the translation is not correct, and that he was more accurately calling for civil protection, such as laws against discriminating. Is there anyone on here that can listen to the clip and give us their translation?

His exact words are apparently: Ley de convivencia civil

Putting this into Google translate yields: Civil coexistence law

Is this accurate - could this still be interpreted as “civil unions” as meant in the English language? Or is it something else?

One comment on the mistranslation

He’s not talking about civil unions but for coexistence laws of no discrimination for nobody.

A better literal translation would be “civil cohabitation law”, meaning unambiguously civil unions, and nothing else. “Coexistence” was a bad translation of the word in this case.

There are times when “convivencia” could be translated as “coexistence”, but this is clearly not one of them. Google isn’t too good at picking up context, especially if you just out in isolated phrases. Use it with appropriate caution.

Not a chance. He is unambiguously talking about civil unions.

1 Like

You really need to read the correct translation , rather then an inaccurate translation.
It would also do Pope Francis a disservice to discard or ignore the question that was asked of him and at present we dont have the question do we.

I can read the original, thank you. Sorry, but it’s just wishful thinking based on a clumsy and inaccurate Google translation that he meant anything other than civil unions.

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What is the correct translation , given you can read that language. Please justify why your translation will be different to that of others of the original language. Also what was the question asked?

The correct translation of the phrase he used, “ley de convivencia civil”, is “civil union law”. There isn’t any doubt or ambiguity about it. At all. It doesn’t have any other possible meaning.

Why is your translation different to that of others who speak the original language?

Also what was the question asked?

It isn’t. Any Spanish speaker would translate it the same.

The confusion arose when someone who didn’t speak Spanish typed the phrase into Google translate, which translated it as “civil coexistence law”, and thought it might mean something different from “civil union law”. While “convivencia” can indeed sometimes be translated as “coexistence”, it clearly cannot be in this case, as anyone who actually speaks Spanish would know,

The moral of the lesson is: Don’t rely on Google Translate. If makes a lot of mistakes.


You have absolutely no idea where that translation came from, do you? I have not told you.
Again, what was the question asked of the Pope?

Yes, I do. It has already been mentioned earlier in this thread.

Sorry, but I’m not going to waste more time on a pointless discussion.

Have a nice day!

I have not told you where my translation came from, so therefore you do not know.
Again, what was the question asked of the Pope?

No idea what the question was then?

In that case, I wish the Holy Father would issue a clarification.

I can’t help noticing how Catholics are always having to say “that’s not what he said, that’s not what he meant” but the damage is done, the rest of the world says “the Pope said!”


Far more reliable than some of the autodidact blow-hards above.


Are you sure about this. From the clip I saw the Pope seems to say both things in the same interview. At least the background setting looks the same for both. It would be quite a coincidence if they were different interviews with the same background.

I know many people are not fans of LSN (I’m not either), but it’s the only place I could find the clip from the Francesco documentary. You don’t have to watch the whole clip, just watch from 0.40 to 1.00 to see what I mean.

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