Pope Francis says homosexuality is ‘not a crime’ but gay sex is ‘a sin’

Rome – Pope Francis has called laws criminalizing homosexuality fundamentally “unfair” and made it clear that in the view of the head of the Catholic Church “being homosexual is not a crime”.

The pope spoke of discrimination against the LGBTQ community, his own health and future plans, and the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in a lengthy interview with The Associated Press published Wednesday. on.

Vatican The Ap Interview with Pope Francis Takeaways
Pope Francis pauses at the Vatican during an interview with The Associated Press on January 24, 2023.

Andrew Medichini/AP


“We are all children of God, and God loves us just as we are,” he told AP reporter Nicole Winfield at his Vatican residence.

However, Francis reiterated the Church’s teaching that it is sinful to engage in homosexual activity.

“It’s a sin,” Francis said, adding, “First, let’s distinguish between sin and crime.”

Significantly, the pope clarified that discriminating against others is also a sin, saying, “It’s also a sin not to have charity with one another, so what about it?”


Pope signals support for same-sex unions in departure from Catholic Church’s stance on gay rights

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Catholic Church teaching states that gay people are to be welcomed into the Church and treated with respect and kindness, although homosexual acts are considered “intrinsically disturbed”.

Francis did not change this teaching, and in 2021 the Vatican Magisterium decreed that the Church could not bless same-sex partnerships because “God cannot bless sin.”

However, Pope Francis has repeatedly championed gay rights and advocated for the inclusion of LGBTQ people in Catholic life.

Francis said the church “must” work to abolish unjust laws around the world.

According to the Human Dignity Trust organization, same-sex sexual activity is a crime in about 67 countries, mostly in Africa and the Middle East. In 11 of these countries, punishment can include the death penalty.

More than a dozen US states still have anti-bestiality laws, despite the Supreme Court Declared unconstitutional in 2003.

The pope said that some bishops from countries that criminalize homosexuality support the laws because they are part of the local culture, and he urged those bishops to undergo a “conversion process” to include LGBQT people in their ministry “with Tenderness.”


The Supreme Court is reviewing the LGBTQ discrimination case

04:39

The pope has also blasted a movement in Germany called the “Synodal Way,” in which bishops and laypeople are exploring the possibility of controversial church reforms, such as allowing priests to marry and allowing female deacons and church blessings for same-sex couples.

Although Francis did not specifically address the issues discussed, he discredited the process as neither serious nor helpful, saying it was run by an “elite” and did not represent “all of God’s people.”

Earlier this week, the Vatican rejected a proposal by German bishops to create a new governing body for the German church that would be composed of both bishops and laypeople.

Francis, 86, also addressed questions about his health, revealing that the diverticulitis that required surgery in 2021 had returned. He said the minor knee fracture, which forced him to cancel trips and use a wheelchair, healed without surgery thanks to laser and magnetic therapy.


Pope Francis says he must travel less or possibly retire

02:35

“I’m going, I’m helping myself with the stroller, but I’m going,” he said. “I’m in good health. I’m normal for my age.”

Since the Death of retired Pope Benedict XII Rumors began to mount earlier this year that Francis might decide to retire. But he told the AP he plans to keep going for as long as possible.

He reiterated that should he retire, he would like to live in a residence for retired priests in Rome and be known as the Bishop Emeritus of Rome.

“Benedict’s experience has opened the door for the new popes who are stepping down to blend in more freely,” he said.


Funeral service for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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Francis said with Benedict’s death he lost a father figure and a confidant.

“For me he was a security. If in doubt, I would ask for the car and go to the monastery” where Benedict lived to seek advice. “I lost a good companion.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-homosexuality-not-a-crime-but-gay-sex-a-sin/ Pope Francis says homosexuality is ‘not a crime’ but gay sex is ‘a sin’

Rick Schindler

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