Pope Francis says homosexuality is not a crime

- Advertisement -

Pope Francis condemned “unjust” laws that criminalize homosexuality in an Associated Press interview published Wednesday, adding that the Roman Catholic Church should do more to end such legislation and that bishops should welcome the LGBTQ people in the church, especially in countries where such laws exist.

“Being gay is not a crime,” Francis said in the interview, adding that God loved all his children as they are. He also called on bishops who support laws that punish or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, which exist in more than five dozen countries around the world, to undergo a “conversion process” and apply “tenderness” instead. “, he said, “as God did for each one of us.”

Francis cited the church’s catechism, which teaches that LGBTQ people should not be marginalized but rather welcomed. But he also made it clear that he supports Catholic teaching that considers homosexual acts, which the Catholic Church considers “inherently disordered”, to be a sin.

“It’s not a crime,” Francis said of homosexuality during the 75-minute interview on Tuesday at Santa Marta, the Vatican hotel he calls home, and even though the Church could consider certain relationships a sin, he added, “let’s first distinguish between a sin and a crime”

“It is also a sin to lack charity towards each other,” Francis added.

The pope has made outreach to the LGBTQ community one of the pillars of his papacy. Just months after his election in 2013, he declared: “Who am I to judge? when asked on a papal flight from Brazil about priests who might be gay. In a 2020 documentary, he appeared to endorse same-sex civil unions. The Vatican later clarified that the pope believed same-sex couples deserved civil protections, including legal rights and health care benefits, but that his comments did not mark a change in church doctrine. .

In 2021, many members of the LGBTQ community criticized Francis for a ruling by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith banning priests from blessing same-sex unions, calling such a blessing “unlawful.” The decision was made in response to questions from some pastors and parishes seeking to be more welcoming and inclusive of same-sex couples.