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by  |  28-Mar-2016 15:01

In an interview to mark his first year in the church’s top job, Pope Francis last week reaffirmed the Vatican’s opposition to gay marriage but indicated that some types of civil unions could be acceptable to the church.

Cardinal Dolan, pictured here with Barack Obama in New York in 2012, told American television that Pope Francis wants church leaders to 'look into same sex unions and see the reasons that have driven them' Pope Francis will make his first trip to Asia in August, visiting South Korea to participate in a Catholic youth festival, preside over a beatification ceremony for 124 Korean martyrs and bring a message of peace to the war-divided peninsula, officials said.

Francis told reporters last summer en route home from his first foreign trip to Brazil that he wanted to go to Asia because Pope Benedict XVI never managed to get to the continent, aside from a quick trip to Turkey in 2006.

Yohhap quoted Bishop Peter Kang U-il, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, as saying the visit will also help bring peace to the peninsula.

The two Koreas have been in a near-constant standoff since an armistice ended the Korean War in 1953.

‘I think his choice of the divided Korean peninsula as the destination of his first Asian trip came out of his aspiration for peace on the peninsula and the rest of the world and his hope to pray together with Asian youths,’ Kang said, according to Yonhap.

Some countries justify civil unions as a way to provide the same economic and legal rights to cohabitating couples as those who are married, the Pope said in the interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

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