Pope Francis explains what he meant about homosexuality in an interview with AP

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January 27, 2023 / 6:35 p.m.

Pope Francis explained what he meant in a recent interview with the agency Associated Press (AP) in which he spoke about homosexuality.

“It is not the first time that I have spoken about homosexuality and about homosexual people. And I wanted to clarify that it is not a crime to underline that all criminalization is not good or fair”, the Holy Father indicated in a letter dated today, January 27.

“When I said that it is a sin, I was simply referring to the Catholic moral teaching that says that any sexual act outside of marriage is a sin,” he continued.

“Of course you have to take into account the circumstances that diminish or annul the guilt. As you can see, I was repeating a general thing,” Pope Francis wrote in a letter in Spanish sent to Jesuit priest James Martin, who runs the “LGBTQ Catholic resource” (acronym for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and queer) called Outreach.

“I should have said ‘it is a sin as is any sexual act outside of marriage.’ This, speaking of the ‘matter’ of sin, but we know well that Catholic morality, in addition to matter, evaluates freedom, intention; and this, for all kinds of sin”, indicated Pope Francis.

“And whoever wants to criminalize homosexuality I would say that they are wrong,” he added.

The Pope commented that “in a televised interview, where people spoke naturally and in conversational language, it is understandable that details are not given.”

What did Pope Francis say in the interview with the Associated Press?

On January 25, Pope Francis said that “the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that people with homosexual tendencies have to be welcomed, they do not have to be marginalized, accompanied if a place is given.”

Along these lines, he stressed that “if there is a person who seeks God and is sincere, who am I to judge him. There is the Lord.”

Likewise, he described as unfair the attitudes held by some countries where homosexuality is persecuted and people with this condition are even declared dead.

“We are all children of God and God loves us as we are and with the strength that each one of us fights for our dignity. Being homosexual is not a crime. It is not a crime. ‘Yes, but it’s a sin.’ Well, first let’s distinguish sin and crime. But a lack of charity towards one’s neighbor is also a sin”, the Pope clarified.

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Next, the Holy Father stressed that “no one must be discriminated against”, and said that “every man and woman must have a window in their life where they can pour out their hope and where they can see the dignity of God. And being gay is not a crime. It’s a human condition.”

In addition, he encouraged the Church to contribute to repealing the norms that persecute homosexuals, although he pointed out that it is about “cultures, cultures in a State, and the bishops of that place, although they are good bishops, are part of the culture and some still have their minds in that culture.”

“But tenderness, please, tenderness, as God has with each one of us. Let’s go back to the three categories of God. God has three attitudes: closeness, mercy and tenderness. And these three are enough, all theology is there. A close God, who is at my hand. A merciful God who forgives me so many times. A tender God,” he concluded.


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