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Kentucky Priest Hand Chosen To Spread Message Of Mercy Backs Pope's Civil Union Stance

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In a just-released documentary, Pope Francis openly calls for legalized civil unions for same-sex couples. It’s a comment that’s brought both controversy and praise. In the film Francesco, the leader of the Catholic Church says, "Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God." Kentucky’s own Father Jim Sichko concurred. “What the Pope is saying is that these people matter. They matter and they need tending to and (to be) cared for and respected.”

Fr. Sichko is well known for his random acts of kindness and is one of nearly a thousand Catholic priests across the globe hand-picked by Pope Francis to serve as a Papal Missionary of Mercy. Their goal is the spread God’s message of mercy, forgiveness and love.

Fr. Sichko said the Pontiff’s recent comments fall directly in line with their mission. “God is for them. God is with them and so when the Holy Father has made this statement, what he is saying is once again affirming individuals. Saying look, they need to be included not isolated.” Sichko continued, “How are we ever going to reach people if we’re constantly pushing people away?”

Not all leaders in the Catholic Church agree. Conservatives say the comment goes against doctrine, something the Pope says he is not changing. And there has been evidence that the Vatican censored the pope last year by deleting his endorsement of same-sex civil unions from an interview, only to have the footage resurface in the documentary.