Many Catholics to convert to Orthodoxy after what Pope Francis said

The head of the department for relations of the church with society and the media of the Ivanovo-Voznesensk diocese, hieromonk Macary (Markish), set out a doubt about the reliability of reports about Pope Francis' support for civil same-sex unions.

"You can perfectly understand that in our times it's the easiest thing to ascribe anything to anyone. If the Pope said something, he does not say it though a newspaper, a motion picture or a documentary," Makary told Moscow Speaking ("Govorit Moskva") radio station.

He pointed out that Francis is a member of the Jesuit Order and noted that the pontiff is known for his very agile and cunning policy. Makary also stated that same-sex marriage "does not exist," and by combining these two words, "we blaspheme marriage, we are contaminating our own consciousness."

The clergyman reminded in the interview with the radio station that the renewed Russian constitution enshrines the concept of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, "which no one has ever simply had to doubt." "Yet, today, in the 21st century, this had to be clarified a little, this is normal for all people who bring disgrace to human life," said Makary.

Roman Silantyev, the head of the human rights center of the World Russian People's Council, said in an interview with Podyom publication that the remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.

He did not rule out that this could push many Catholics to convert to Orthodox and Protestant believers after that." Silantyev also suggested that people with certain inclinations would want to become priests to take advantage of their status and molest boys.

The "Francesco" documentary premiered on October 21 at the International Film Festival in Rome. In the film, Pope Francis in particular says:

"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."

When serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the would-be Pope Francis had spoken in support of same-sex civil unions as an alternative to homosexual marriage, which he strongly condemned. However, it was the first time, when the head of the Roman Catholic Church made such a statement.

According to the current doctrine of the Catholic Church, homosexuality is considered to be "deviant behavior." In 2003, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith proclaimed that respect for homosexuals could in no way lead either to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of same-sex unions.

On October 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted amendments to two articles of the Family Code of the Russian Federation - about family law and international law (Article 6), as well as about adoption (Article 165). The amendments consolidate the priority of the Russian constitution before international treaties in the field of family law.