Pope Francis becomes first pope to support repeal of laws criminalizing homosexuality: NPR

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Pope Francis has said the Catholic church must work to end what it calls “unjust” laws that criminalize homosexuality, which are common in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.



ARI SHAPIRO, Guest:

Pope Francis has said that the Catholic Church must work to stop laws that criminalize homosexuality. These laws are common in some parts of the world and sometimes carry the death penalty. NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli reports that he is the first pope to support such an abrogation.

SYLVIA POGGIOLI, BYLINE: In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press, Pope Francis quoted from the Catholic Church’s inquiry, saying that gay people must be welcomed and respected and should not be marginalized or marginalized. -judge them. He said that there must be a difference between crime and sin. Being homosexual is not a crime, but it is a sin, said Francis, adding, but first, let’s make a distinction between sin and crime. For example, he said, it is also a sin to lack charity towards one another.

The pope admitted that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize or discriminate against homosexuality. He told the interviewer that the church should work to stop anti-LGBTQ legislation, stressing that it must do this. A few months after his election in 2013 as pope, Francis gave a quote that defined his papacy as inclusive.

(Audio from archive recording)

POPE FRANCIS: (Through translator) If someone is gay and he seeks the Lord and has good intentions, who am I to judge?

POGGIOLI: And in the last 10 years, he has been ministering publicly to the gay and transgender communities. But the teachings of the Catholic Church insist that homosexual activity is, it says, “a sexual disorder.” And Francis has been criticized by LGBTQ activists for the Vatican’s 2021 decree that the church cannot bless same-sex unions because, she said, God cannot bless the sin.

After the interview, Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which promotes the rights of the LGBTQ Catholic community, rejoiced. In a statement, he said, the pope’s words highlight the Catholic value of protecting human dignity, which too many church leaders have refused to apply to the oppressive, social situations of LGBTQ+ people on worldwide, including the US Asking about the recent wave. As for criticism against him from conservative cardinals and bishops after the death of former Pope Benedict XVI, Francis acknowledged that the knives were out but seemed to be unscathed. He said it’s unpleasant but it’s better than keeping it under wraps. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Rome.

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