COMMENTS MADE by Pope Francis in which he appeared to voice support for the LGBT community were 'taken out of context', the Vatican has said.
The Pontiff made worldwide headlines last week following the premier of a new documentary about the Pope's life, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky and titled 'Francesco'.
First aired at the Rome Film Festival on October 21, the film showed Pope Francis stating "homosexual people have a right to be in a family", in a significant departure from the stance of the Catholic Church and his predecessors.
"What we have to create is a civil union law," he added. "That way they are legally covered."
"[Gay people] are children of God and have a right to a family."
"Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it."
The comments garnered huge praise from the LGBT community and allies, including from comedian and presenter Ellen DeGeneres, who wrote "Thank you, Pope Francis, for seeing love for what it is."
However, according to The Independent, the Vatican has said his comments were taken out of context and the Church's stance on the LGBT community and gay marriage has not changed.
The Vatican's secretariat of state issued a statement to its ambassadors across the globe, claiming the documentary maker had used quotes from an old interview with Pope Francis, removing the context and the interviewer's questions.
The Vatican ambassador to Mexico, Franco Coppola, shared an unsigned version of the statement from the Vatican on social media, which read:
"More than a year ago, during an interview, Pope Francis answered two different questions at two different times that, in the aforementioned documentary, were edited and published as a single answer without proper contextualisation, which has led to confusion."
Director Evgeny Afineevsky had said he interviewed Pope Francis for the documentary, however the comments in which the Pontiff appeared to voice his support for same sex civil partnerships seem to have been taken from an un-aired interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa from 2019, The Independent reports.
The Vatican also stated that Pope Francis's comments referred to children being kicked out of home for being gay, not, as many people understood it, to be supportive of same-sex marriage and same-sex adoptions.
While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis said alternatives to marriage should be offered to gay people-- the Vatican say the comments taken out of context related to his position at the time.
It is understood the documentary, Francesco, removed the part of the interview where the Pope called gay marriage "an incongruence".
In 2003, the Vatican issued a document where it prohibited catholic leaders from endorsing civil unions.