In a documentary that premiered yesterday, Pope Francis endorsed civil unions for same-sex couples, making him the first pontiff ever to do so.
His rigid predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, would be turning in his grave, if he weren’t still alive.
It’s going to be fascinating to watch what happens now within the Catholic Church. After all, church doctrine holds that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” Gay people are to be treated with respect, but that respect “cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”
Maybe Pope Francis will simply say he was having a bad day and it will all blow over. Or maybe things will become so fraught we’ll see a repeat of the Schism of 1378, when three men claimed to be the true pope. With a much bigger world population, and the connecting power of social media, I expect that this time some 3,000 people will claim to be the true pontiff, and supporters will back everyone from Pope Augustine to Pope Zippy.