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Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

  • In 2003, under the direction of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican’s Congregation taught that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.”

What he's saying: "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered," Pope Francis says in the Evgeny Afineevsky-directed film, which is set to premiere in North America on Sunday, per CNA.

  • "I stood up for that," Pope Francis adds, appearing to refer to his reported endorsement of same-sex civil unions while archbishop of Buenos Aires.
  • “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” he says.
  • According to AP, Juan Carlos Cruz, the Chilean survivor of clergy sexual abuse and one of the film's main characters, said the pope assured him in May 2018 that God made Cruz gay.
  • Pope Francis also addresses the environment, poverty, migration, inequality, and discrimination in the film.

Worth noting: It's unclear when the interview featured in the documentary took place.

  • The Vatican did not immediately comment on Pope Francis' remarks. A spokesman told the New York Times that he would not comment until he had seen the film and the pope’s remarks.

Flashback: Pope Francis sparked controversy among Catholics in 2013 for saying, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Go deeper

Updated Nov 24, 2020 - World

Tracking Biden's first calls to world leaders

Combination images of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: NZ Prime Minister's Office/Instagram/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

One ritual of becoming president-elect is the carousel of congratulatory phone calls with other world leaders.

What to watch: The order in which the calls are returned is watched closely around the world.

Trump PACs raise over $82M for first half of 2021

Former President Trump during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former President Trump's political action committees (PACs) raised more than $82 million in the first half of 2021, per Federal Election Commission filings published on Saturday.

Why it matters: It's a significant amount for a former president who's been banned from major social media platforms. It demonstrates his ability to raise huge sums of money should he choose to run for the presidency for a third time.

Updated 50 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Team USA's Caeleb Dressel celebrates winning gold in the final of the men's 50m freestyle swimming event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gameson Sunday. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

🚨: Simone Biles won't compete in Olympic floor finals, individual vault or uneven bars

🏊: U.S. wins gold in men's 4x100-meter medley relay, earning Caeleb Dressel fifth gold — American Bobby Finke wins gold in men's 1,500-meter freestyle

🏊‍♀️: Katie Ledecky wins gold in women's 800m freestyle

🇬🇧: Britain wins gold in first-ever Olympic mixed 4x100m medley relay

💻: Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

🏳️‍⚧️: Axios at the Olympics: Games grapple with trans athletesTrans athletes see the Tokyo Games as a watershed moment

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage