Pope Francis attacked laws that prohibit homosexuality as “unjust,” stating that God loves all of his children as they are, and he urged bishops who support the legislation to welcome LGBT individuals into the church.
“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press.
Francis stated that some Catholic bishops support legislation that prohibit homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBT community, and he personally referred to the matter as “sin.” However, he linked these attitudes to cultural origins and stated that bishops in particular must through a process of conversion in order to acknowledge the inherent worth of every individual.
“These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us.”
According to The Human Dignity Trust, which seeks to abolish such laws, around 67 countries or jurisdictions ban consenting same-sex sexual behavior, 11 of which can or do inflict the death sentence. Even where laws are not enforced, according to experts, they contribute to harassment, stigmatization, and violence against LGBT individuals.
Such rules are prevalent in Africa and the Middle East and have their origins in British colonialism or Islamic law. Others have urged for their repeal as a violation of human dignity.
The United Nations has repeatedly demanded an end to laws that criminalize homosexuality outright, arguing that they violate the rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination, as well as countries’ international obligations to protect the human rights of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Francis called these regulations “unjust” and stated that the Catholic Church can and should endeavor to eliminate them. “This must be done. This must be done,” he stated.
Francis cited the Catechism of the Catholic Church when he stated that homosexuals must be welcomed, appreciated, and not marginalized or discriminated against.
“We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity,” Francis said, speaking to the AP in the Vatican hotel where he lives.
In 2019, Francis was anticipated to release a statement denouncing the criminalization of homosexuality during a meeting with human rights organizations conducting research on the consequences of such laws and so-called “conversion therapies.”
In the end, the pope did not meet with the organizations; instead, they met with the Vatican’s number two, who underlined “the dignity of every human being and opposition to all forms of violence.”
Francis stated on Tuesday that there must be a distinction between a criminal and a sin in regards to homosexuality.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“Being homosexual is not a crime,” he said. “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.” CONTIUE READING…