The link is to a transcript of the pope’s interview. About 2/3 of the way down the page is this Q and A:
In the recent past, it was normal to appeal to the so-called ‘non-negotiable values’, especially in bio-ethics and sexual morality. You have not picked up on this formula. The doctrinal and moral principles have not changed. Does this choice perhaps wish to show a style less preceptive and more respectful of personal conscience?
I have never understood the expression non-negotiable values. Values are values, and that is it. I can’t say that, of the fingers of a hand, there is one less useful than the rest. For which I do not understand in what sense they there may be negotiable values. I wrote in the exhortation Evangelii Gaudium what I wanted to say on the theme of life.
Many nations have regulated civil unions. Is it a path that the Church can understand? But up to what point?
Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures, of which I wouldn’t know how to list the different ways. One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.
My only comment/question: How does the quoted point at all to the headline? Civil unions are secular. Matrimony is a sacrament. The quote never says that the Church will accept the validity of civil unions. It only says that civil unions are permissible in some cases.
The point I want to make here: If you want to know what the pope said, read the words of the pope. Do not trust what the media tells you he said. This is a principal you should hold in all aspects of life. A month or so ago, my wife told me something she observed to be true, but when I later saw the same scenario, what was actually happening was not as my wife described it. So, as Ronald Reagan told us “Trust, but verify.”