In light of Pope Francis claiming that we must have a "civil union law" for homosexual couples -- a direct contradiction of Church teaching and God's word in the Bible -- evangelical Pastor Franklin Graham rebuked the pontiff's blasphemy, saying, "For Pope Francis to attempt to normalize homosexuality is to say that Holy Scriptures are false."
In the new bio-pic, Francesco, which debuted in Rome on Oct. 21, Pope Francis says, "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They're children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it."
He then adds, "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered." Homosexual acts have always been condemned by the Catholic Church as have the false constructs of gay marriage or gay civil unions.
By making his heretical remarks in a filmed interview, the Pope was not speaking officially for the Catholic Church, like in an encyclical letter or papal pronouncement. Nonetheless, his morally outrageous comment has worldwide repercussions and scandalizes the entire Catholic family, which has an estimated 1.3 billion members.
In an Oct. 22 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, "The news has reported that Pope Francis said in a new documentary that 'homosexuals have a right to be part of the family' and is calling for civil union laws for same-sex couples. I find these comments from the Pope unthinkable in light of the Word of God."
"The Bible teaches that when God created the human race, 'He created them male and female, and blessed them…(Genesis 5:2)," said Rev. Graham. "The first family consisted of a male husband and a female wife, then their children, which is how God defines society’s most basic social unit, the family.
Graham continued, "The Bible makes it clear that God disapproved when 'women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another…(Romans 1:26-27)."
Graham, a Protestant, makes clear, as does 2,000-year-old Catholic teaching, that all people sin and that Jesus Christ offers redemption. However, people must sincerely repent and turn away from their sins, just as Mary Magdalene did after Jesus saved her from a self-righteous crowd and forgave her.
"In order for us to be saved, God requires that we repent of our sins—that means to turn away from those sins and to leave them—and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for sin," says Rev. Graham in his post.
"For Pope Francis to attempt to normalize homosexuality is to say that Holy Scriptures are false, that our sins really don’t matter, and that we can continue living in them," writes the reverend.
"If that were true, then Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection wouldn’t have been needed," he adds. "The cross would have been for nothing. No one has the right or the authority to trivialize Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf."
Graham continued, "The Bible says, 'Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19)."
"I want everyone to know the truth and to find the peace that comes only from fully surrendering our lives to Him and His commands," said Graham. "The consequence of an unrepentant, unbelieving heart is also clear in the Word of God—eternal death."
"Unless we repent and receive His offer of forgiveness, surrendering our lives to Him, we will spend eternity as part of a different family when we leave this earth—the family of the condemned," said Rev. Graham. (Emphasis added.)
In a Vatican document from 2003, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, then Pope St. John Paul II said, "The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior 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.
"Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."
The document was issued by the Vatican office of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who currently is Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.