Rome — Pope Francis has made it clear in the minds of Catholic Church leaders that “homosexuality is not a crime”, calling laws that criminalize homosexuality fundamentally “unfair”.
In an extensive interview with The Associated Press published Wednesday, the pope cited discrimination against the LGBTQ community, his health and future plans, and the passing of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.
“We are all God’s children, and God loves us just the way we are,” he told Associated Press reporter Nicole Winfield at the Vatican.
However, Francis reiterated the church’s teaching that engaging in homosexual activity is a sin.
“It is a sin,” Pope Francis added. “Let’s first distinguish between sin and crime.”
Significantly, the Pope made it clear that discriminating against others is also a sin.
Catholic Church teaching says that homosexuals should be welcomed into the church and treated with respect and kindness, despite the fact that homosexual behavior is considered “intrinsically disorderly.”
Francis did not change this teaching, and in 2021 the Vatican Office declared that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions because “God cannot bless sin.”
But Pope Francis has repeatedly defended gay rights and insisted on including LGBT people in Catholic life.
Francis said the church “must” work to repeal unjust laws around the world.
According to the Human Dignity Trust organization, same-sex sexual activity is considered a crime in about 67 countries, mainly in Africa and the Middle East. In 11 of these countries, the penalty may include the death penalty.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling, more than a dozen US states still have laws against sodomy..
The Pope said some bishops in countries that criminalize homosexuality support the law because it is part of the local culture. tenderness.”
The pope is also the German “Synodal Path” movement, which is examining the possibility of controversial church reforms, such as allowing bishops and laity to marry priests and allowing female deacons and church blessings for same-sex couples. exploded.
Francis did not elaborate on the issues under discussion, but said he did not trust the process to be neither serious nor helpful, and said it was being driven by an “elite” and did not represent “all of God’s people.”
Earlier this week, the Vatican dismissed a proposal by German bishops to establish a new governing body for the German Church, which would consist of bishops and laity.
Answering questions about her health, 86-year-old Francis also revealed she had a return of diverticulitis that required surgery in 2021. He said a small knee fracture that required him to cancel his trip and use a wheelchair was healed without surgery through his laser and magnetotherapy.
“I’m already walking and helping myself with the stroller, but I’m walking,” he said. “I’m healthy. It’s normal for my age.”
afterEarlier this year, rumors intensified that Francis might decide to retire. However, he told the Associated Press that he intends to continue for as long as possible.
He reiterated that when he retired he would like to live in Rome in the residence of retired priests and be known as the Emeritus Bishop of Rome.
“Benedict’s experience opened the door for the resigning new popes to participate more freely,” he said.
Francis said he lost his father figure and entourage with Benedict’s death.
“To me, he was the sheriff. If I faced any doubts, I would ask for tea and go to the monastery where Benedict lived for advice.” “He’s lost a good fellow.”