Pope Francis: Homosexuality 'Isn't a Crime'

  • In Business
  • 2023-01-26 03:07:30Z
  • By National Review

Pope Francis said during an interview Tuesday that being "homosexual isn't a crime," marking a significant shift in Catholic Church rhetoric.

The statement was applauded by LGBTQ groups as a natural evolution of the pope's views dating back to his 2013 invocation: "Who am I to judge?" Since then, Pope Francis has signaled that gay couples deserve legal protections and condemned conversion therapy.

"This is the first time that any pope has made such a clear statement about this issue of life and death," Father James Martin, editor at large of the Jesuit magazine America, wrote.

Of particular concern to Pope Francis has been the continued criminalization of homosexuality across dozens of countries, many of which impose the death penalty.

The pope said such laws are "unjust" and called on the Catholic Church to actively oppose them. "It must do this. It must do this," Pope Francis told the Associated Press.

The pontiff also sought to differentiate the legal criminalization of homosexuality from the Catholic Church's belief that the behavior is sinful.

"It's not a crime. Yes, but it's a sin. Fine, but first let's distinguish between sin and a crime," Pope Francis said. "It's also a sin to lack charity with one another."

"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," Pope Francis affirmed.

The statements were Pope Francis's first since the death of Pope Benedict XVI on New Year's Eve 2022.

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