LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Pope Francis is the first pope to endorse same-sex civil unions, but that might not mean what many people think it does.
Bishop George Leo Thomas with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas said the pope's endorsement of same-sex civil union's doesn't change the Catholic Church's long consistent belief that "marriage is a union between a man and a woman."
Bishop Thomas said Pope Francis's comments work toward being sensitive to LGBTQ couples when they face hardships.
These hardships could include going to an emergency room and not having access to their loved ones or applying for survivor benefits when after one partner dies.
Overall, the bishop said the gesture is a way to extend benefits that married couples often take for granted.
"I think that people will say if the Catholic Church is nothing else, it's consistent," Bishop Thomas said. "It's very ancient. This is a 2,000-year consistent teaching. So it's not going to be the Holy Father waving a magic wand and made some change."