Vatican City – Pope Francis denounces laws criminalizing homosexuality as ‘unjust’, says God loves all children just as they are, and urges Catholic bishops who support the law to welcome LGBTQ people into their churches called.
“It’s not a crime to be gay,” Francis said in an exclusive interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday.
Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality and discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and he himself refers to the issue as “sin.” Did. However, he believes that such attitudes lie in the cultural background, and bishops in particular said that they need to go through a process of change in order to recognize the dignity of all people.
“These bishops must go through a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply “kindness, please, as God has for each one of us.”
Francis’ comments, the first time the pope has spoken out on such a law, align with his holistic approach to the LGBTQ community and his belief that the Catholic Church welcomes all and should not discriminate. We are doing it.
According to The Human Dignity Trust, about 67 countries or jurisdictions around the world criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity, and 11 of them can or cannot impose the death penalty. are doing. Experts say it fosters harassment, stigma and violence against LGBTQ people, even in areas where the law is not enforced.
In the United States, more than a dozen states still have anti-sodomy laws, even though a 2003 Supreme Court ruling declared homosexuality unconstitutional. Gay rights advocates say outdated laws are being used to harass gays, pointing to new laws such as Florida’s ‘don’t say gay’ law as proof doing. of ongoing efforts to marginalize LGBTQ people.
The United Nations has repeatedly called for the abolition of laws that outright criminalize homosexuality, which violates the right to privacy and freedom from discrimination, and protects the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. It is in violation of a country’s obligations under international law. Or gender identity.
Declaring such laws “unjust”, Francis said the Catholic Church could and should put an end to them. I have to,” he said.
Francis quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church that homosexuals must be welcomed and respected, and not left out or discriminated against.
“We are all children of God. He loves us for who we are and loves each of us for our strength to fight for our dignity,” said Francis.
Francis’ remarks come before a trip to Africa, where such laws are common, as is the Middle East. Many date back to British colonial times or are inspired by Islamic law. Some Catholic bishops strongly support it, saying it is consistent with Vatican teachings, while others call for it to be overruled as a violation of basic human dignity.
In 2019, Francis was expected to issue a statement against the criminalization of homosexuality.
In the end, after word of the audience leaked, Pope never met with the group. bottom.
With the recent death of his more conservative predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, there was no indication that Francis had spoken out against such legislation. But Francis readily responded, even citing statistics on the number of countries where homosexuality is criminalized.
On Tuesday, Francis said there needs to be a distinction between crime and sin when it comes to homosexuality.
“It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin,” he said. “Okay, but first let’s make a distinction between sin and crime.”
“It is also a sin to be unkind to one another,” he added.
Catholic teachings say that homosexuals must be treated with respect, but that homosexual acts are “essentially disorderly”. It is characteristic of the Pope to reach out.
Starting with his famous 2013 declaration: — When asked about allegedly gay priests — Francis has repeatedly pastored openly to the gay and transgender communities. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he advocated giving legal protection to same-sex couples instead of supporting gay marriage, which Catholic doctrine forbids.
Despite such outreach, Francis was criticized by the Catholic LGBTQ community for a 2021 decree from the Vatican Office of Doctrine that the church cannot bless same-sex couples.
In 2008, the Vatican refused to sign a UN declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, complaining that the document went beyond its original scope. He urged countries to avoid harassment and abolish penalties for homosexuals.