Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco told LifeSiteNews that during their January 27 ad limina visit, the pope said, in the words of the archbishop, that “civil unions between two people of the same sex can never be marriage. As long as this is respected, civil unions that give access to government benefits can be acceptable.”

However, to regard homosexual civil unions as acceptable contradicts Catholic teaching, notably reaffirmed in the 1986, 1992 and 2003 documents issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and approved by Pope Saint John Paul II.

The 2003 letter “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons” reiterates that homosexual acts go against the natural moral law and that “[t]here are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”

“The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions,” it points out.

Moreover, where “homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty,” the document asserts….

The above comes from a Feb. 3 story on LifeSitenews.