What Pope Francis Really Said About Homosexuality

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“Being homosexual is not a crime,” Pope Francis declared in an interview with the Associated Press agency broadcast this Wednesday, January 25. “It’s a sin, okay, but let’s distinguish between the two.” And continues: “It is also a sin to lack charity with your neighbor.”

The remarks made by Pope Francis on homosexuality during an interview with the Associated Press agency published this Wednesday, January 25 will certainly not fail to provoke a reaction. “Being homosexual is not a crime,” he said. “It’s not a crime. But it is a sin. Okay, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime. »

He made the remarks while being questioned about laws that criminalize homosexuality. As a reminder, some 67 countries still criminalize homosexuality, eleven of which provide for the death penalty. Laws that he described as “unjust” reminding us that God loves all his children as they are. He also called on Catholic bishops who support this type of law to welcome LGBTQ people into the Church. “These bishops must enter into a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should show “tenderness as God does for each of us.”

We are all children of God, and God loves us just as we are.

“We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and gives each of us the strength to fight for our dignity,” Francis told AP. And the Pope continued that if homosexuality remains a sin, “the fact of lacking charity with one’s neighbor” is too.

It is a sin in the sense that this “orientation remains intrinsically disordered,” Francis recalled during the interview. Words found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (article no. 2357). “Acts of homosexuality are inherently disordered. They are contrary to natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not come from true emotional and sexual complementarity. » But, and it is in this but that the whole message of the Church is also held, homosexual people “must be welcomed with respect, compassion and delicacy”. What the Pope translates in the interview as follows: “Homosexual people must be treated with respect like every child of God. »

Throughout his pontificate, the Pope has never ceased to explain and reiterate the Church’s message on homosexuality with accuracy and humanity. “If a person is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge them? », declared the Pope in 2013 upon returning from WYD in Rio, in response to a journalist who questioned him about the existence of a gay lobby within the Vatican . To around forty parents of LGBT children who came to meet him in September 2020, he similarly assured :  “The Church loves your children as they are, because they are children of God. »

What exactly the Pope said about homosexuality in his Associated Press interview broadcast on January 25, 2023

François: The condemnation of homosexuality comes from afar. Today, for example, I believe that there are more than 50 countries that legally condemn it. Among them, I believe that more or less 10 impose the death penalty. They do not directly name homosexuality, but they talk about those who have unnatural relationships. They try to say it in a hidden way. But there are countries which have this strong tendency, when it is not the culture which has it. I think it’s unfair. I receive groups of people like that here in audience. We are all children of God. And God loves us in the state we are in and with the strength with which each of us fights for our own dignity. Being homosexual is not a crime. It’s not a crime. – “Yes, but it’s a sin.” – Let us first distinguish sin from crime. But it is also a sin to lack charity towards one’s neighbor. So, every man and woman must have a window in their life where they can place their hope and where they can see the dignity of God. Being homosexual is not a crime, it is a human condition.  

And in states that have these laws, can the Church help repeal them? She must ? Should she do it? 
Yes, yes, yes, she must do it. She has to do it. What happens is that these are cultures in a state and the bishops of the place, even if they are good bishops are part of that culture and some still have the mentality of that culture. Is not it ? The bishop, too, has a conversion process. Of all the bishops in these places, I don’t have bad information from any of them. They are open to help, not only on this but on other issues. But… tenderness, please, tenderness, as God has with each of us.” 

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