From John L. Allen Jr. at the National Catholic Reporter:
Another veteran Vatican figure has signaled openness to civil recognition of same-sex unions in the wake of similar comments in early February from the Vatican's top official on the family. It's a position also once reportedly seen with favor by the future pope while he was still Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The latest expression of support for civil recognition as an alternative to gay marriage comes from Archbishop Piero Marini, who served for 18 years as Pope John Paul II's liturgical master of ceremonies.
"There are many couples that suffer because their civil rights aren't recognized," Marini said.
Marini, now 71, is currently the president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. He spoke in an interview with the newspaper La Nación in Costa Rica, where the local church wrapped up a Eucharistic congress Sunday.
Though Marini has no responsibility to frame policy on matters of marriage, his comments may reopen questions about the Vatican's line in the wake of a similar position expressed in early February by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. [MORE]