I think there is a difference between individuals ( i.e. social conservatives ) TOLERATING an act they consider repugnant and CELEBRATING an act.
For instance, I personally disapprove of marijuana use, but that does not mean I want it criminalized.
So, to say that one tolerates civil unions ( i.e., the signing of a contract between individuals for the purpose of one inheriting the assets of another or giving another person the authority to decide to say, “pull the plug”, should something happen to the other ), does not mean one celebrates it.
Having said that, Pope Francis is in a different category. He is the head of a church with a worldwide membership of a billion people.
He should CLARIFY what he means by the church’s “support” for civil unions. He in fact, has an OBLIGATION to do so as the teaching magistrate of the church.
Does he mean by “support” -— not making civil contracts illegal?
Does he mean the church now declassifies sex between gay people who are now united civilly as NOT SIN?
So many questions that need answering and clarifying. I hope he does that now that he has opened the floodgates with his remark.
I would agree. What the Roman Catholic Pope means by his statement may be more nuanced, theologically, and legally than someone could interpret the raw statement to mean. I suppose, there will be clarification of it in time.