Pope Francis, or Jorge Mario Bergoglio, turned another year older Thursday—84 to be exact. As head of the Catholic Church, his words carry weight, and he's been known to unleash bold remarks on issues that ail society. We round up his headline-making statements in 2020, a year fraught with uncertainty and conflict.
Here's what Pope Francis had to say this year:
Church leaders have long opposed gay marriage, saying the institution applies only between a man and a woman. The Pope this year voiced his support for same-sex civil unions (not marriage). As children of God, members of the LGBT community have the right to family, he said. Learn more about his statement.
Pleasures vary per person, and while the Church condemns satisfaction from "inhuman, brutish" behavior, the Pope welcomed "human, simple, moral" joys. Enjoyment derived from food and sex are "simply divine," Francis said, and the Church now should have no business denying people of such pleasures. Read the full story here.
The COVID-19 pandemic claimed lives, put the world on pause, and left millions jobless and anxious. With richer countries gaining access to the vaccine first, poorer nations are left behind—a reality Pope Francis said needed to change. He called for universal vaccines meant to be available for all, regardless of who develops it first or how much money you have in your pocket. Here are his hopes for a post-pandemic world.