A gay friend of Pope Francis has discussed their friendship in a revealing interview.
Yoyo Grassi was taught by the Pope in the '60s, and along with his partner, met with him in 2015 in Washington, D. C..
He asked him about the subject of civil unions as far back as 2008.
"Who am I to judge you? Why would I judge you?”
Speaking to the Washington Blade, Grassi said he “was not surprised” by the Pope’s declaration.
"To me it was like a natural consequence of the things that he’s done,” he added.
Speaking about past meetings, he added: “[The Pope said] it is not a religious law that is being debated, it is a civil law so therefore the church has nothing to do with it.
“That was when he told me that you’re coming here and I know you. We have been friends for so long. Who am I to judge you? Why would I judge you?”
Francis speaks about civil unions in Francesco, a documentary about his life that debuted at the Rome Film Festival on 21 October.
“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family," Pope Francis says during the film. "They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it."
Francis appeared then says “what we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
However, according to Out, the Pope said during the same interview: “That does not mean approving of homosexual acts, not in the least.”