Pope Francis Clarifies Statements on Homosexuality and Sin

NIn an information note cited by the Associated Press (AP), the head of the Catholic Church noted that even this teaching – in a dimension between two opposing sides – is subject to circumstances that can completely eliminate sin.

Pope Francis made questionable comments for the first time in an interview with Andhra Agency on January 24, declaring that laws criminalizing homosexuality are “unjustified” and that “homosexuality is not a crime”.

Francis imagined a conversation with someone who raised the issue of official church teaching that says homosexual acts are sinful or “inherently disordered,” as he’s not inclined to do.

“Okay, but first let’s distinguish between sin and crime,” Francis said in the hypothetical conversation. “It is also a sin not to be charitable to one another,” he added, again quoted by the AP.

The pope’s comments in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality were immediately applauded by LGBTQ supporters, which would help end persecution and violence against LGBTQ people. However, his reference to “sin” raised questions about whether the pope believes being gay is a sin.

An American Jesuit who leads an outreach parish for LGBTQ Catholics in the United States, Rev. James Martin, who sought an explanation from the head of the church, published the pope’s handwritten response Friday on the outreach website.

In that note, Pope Francis reaffirmed that homosexuality is “not a crime” and said he spoke on the matter “to emphasize that criminalization is neither good nor fair.”

“When I said it was a sin, I was referring to Catholic moral teaching, which says that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin,” Francis wrote in Spanish, underscoring the final sentence.

See also  The abortion of an 11-year-old girl who was raped is "unacceptable," says Bolzano

However, he noted that even this Catholic teaching of the Church requires consideration of circumstances.

Pope acknowledged that he could have been clearer in his comments to the AP, justifying his use of “natural and colloquial language” in an interview that did not require precise definitions.

“As you can see, I was repeating something in general. I should have said: ‘This is a sin, like any sexual act outside of marriage. This is to talk about the problem of sin, but we know very well that Catholic morality not only takes this matter into account, but also values ​​freedom and intention. And for all kinds of sins.”

About 67 countries or jurisdictions around the world criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity, 11 of which carry or carry the death penalty, according to “The Human Dignity Trust,” which seeks to end these criminal laws based on sexual and religious morality.

Even when such criminal laws are not enforced, experts say they contribute to harassment, stigma and violence against LGBTQ people.

Catholic doctrine prohibits same-sex marriage, insisting that the sacrament of marriage is a lifelong bond between a man and a woman. At the same time, it bans artificial contraceptives.

Pope Francis has maintained this teaching throughout his pontificate, but has prioritized LGBTQ people. So he advocated a more compassionate approach to using church doctrine to walk with people instead of judging them.

Also read: Pope Francis says being gay is not a crime, but a sin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.