Pope Francis waves to faithful from his pope-mobile as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Jan. 22, 2014.
While nations around the world, including the U.S., take a long look at their own policies on same-sex couples, here's a sign the Roman Catholic Church is open to changing its views — maybe.
You might have seen various headlines like this, proclaiming Pope Francis and the Catholic Church are warming up to approving same-sex partnerships. (Via USA Today, CNN, MSNBC)
In an interview with Italian publication Catholic News Service, Pope Francis said he wants to "regulate diverse situations of cohabitation driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care ... It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety."
During the interview, he reiterates the Catholic Church's view that marriage IS between man and woman, the news service calls it the first time a pope has even hinted at being okay with some form of gay partnership.
Though Pope Francis' progressive streak is well-documented, even specifically on the issue of gay rights. (Via The Huffington Post)
On the topic of gay priests, Pope Francis said, "Who am I to judge?" last July. (Via The New York Times)
Still, as early as January this year, a Vatican spokesperson denied that the pope was OK with same-sex civil unions. (Via National Catholic Reporter)
And a writer for Slate says people need to slow down on this story. Pope Francis ISN'T supporting gay rights and media outlets have it all wrong.
Giving a few examples of what writer Tyler Lopez calls headlines that "couldn't be further from the truth," he says the pope's comments don't really apply to same-sex couples. "The pope’s words are calculated, precise and unforgiving. Same-sex families are not legitimate in the eyes of the Vatican. In the Catholic Church, gays — being humans — have inherent human rights. Gay rights, however, are not human rights."
According to Pew Research, 19 nations allow gay marriage in some form.