Pope Francis has said laws criminalizing homosexuality are “unjust”, calling homosexuality a sin for Catholic worshipers – but not a crime.
“Being gay is not a crime,” Francis said in an interview this week. with the Associated Press.
He noted that Catholic bishops around the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality and discriminate against LGBTQ people. He said leaders should “have a conversion process” and prefer “God’s compassion to each of us please.”
“We are all children of God, and God loves us for who we are and for the strength that each of us fights for for our dignity,” Francis said.
The Pope said the Catholic Church should work to end laws that criminalize homosexuality.
About 67 countries and jurisdictions worldwide criminalize same-sex sexual activity. In the United States, more than a dozen states still have anti-sodomy laws, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the laws were unconstitutional.
Francis’ comments did not fully embrace LGBTQ people. The church still calls homosexuality a sin.
“It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Good, but first let’s distinguish between sin and crime,” Francis said during the interview.
“It is also a sin not to give alms to one another,” he added.
What did Pope Francis say about LGBTQ rights earlier?
Francis last year parents called never condemning their children anywhere in the world if they are gay.
- He spoke about the biblical figure of Joseph at a weekly general audience meeting.
- Francis appealed to parents who “see that their children have different sexual orientations, how they do it, and who accompany their children and do not hide behind a disapproving attitude.”
- He said “Never condemn a child”
But in 2021 the Vatican I said The Catholic Church and its priests cannot bless homosexual unions, arguing that God “cannot bless sin.”
- “There is absolutely no reason to think of same-sex partnerships as in any way analogous or even remotely similar to God’s marriage and family plan,” said the Vatican’s Orthodox office of the Congregational Congregational Doctrine of Faith.
Francis has previously endorsed civil unions and named gay and trans people as children of God.
“Gays have a right to be in a family. They are God’s children,” Francis said in an interview for a 2020 documentary. “You can’t kick someone out of the family, you can’t ruin their life for it. We have to have a civil union law, that’s how they are legally secured.”
How were the Pope’s comments received?
Francis’ comments this week were not a change in church teachings, but were nonetheless praised by several LGBTQ groups.
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said Francis’ “historic statement should send a message to world leaders and millions of Catholics around the world: LGBTQ people deserve to live in a world free of violence and condemnation, and more kindness and understanding.” ”
Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the Ministry of New Ways, an LGBTQ-based Catholic group, told USA TODAY that Francis’ statement will “help save lives and improve respect for LGBTQ+ people, particularly in areas mandated by law or social norms.” victims of fear, hatred, violence and death.”
“The Pope reminds the church that the way people treat each other in the social world is of far greater moral importance than what people can do in the privacy of a bedroom,” the statement said.
Contributors: Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY; Associated press
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