Pope Francis Pushes Back Against Laws Criminalizing Homosexuality

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for ChristianHeadlines.com | Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Pope Francis Pushes Back Against Laws Criminalizing Homosexuality

Pope Francis Pushes Back Against Laws Criminalizing Homosexuality

Pope Francis recently spoke out against laws that criminalize homosexuality, calling them “unjust” and asserting that God loves all his children regardless of their sexual orientation.

“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday at the Vatican.

The pope admitted that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support the criminalization of homosexuality but insisted that those bishops must recognize the worth of every human being.

“These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” Francis said, adding that they should utilize “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us.”

According to The Human Dignity Trust, consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal in 67 countries or jurisdictions around the world. In 11 of those countries, the death penalty can and sometimes is imposed. Experts note that discrimination against LGBT people, including harassment and violence, still occurs even when the laws are not enforced.

The United Nations has often called for the end of such laws since they violate one’s privacy and freedom and breach a country’s duty to protect the human rights of all, regardless of a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation, under international law.

During the interview with the Associated Press, Francis declared the laws “unjust” and argued that the Catholic Church should work to bring an end to them.

“It must do this. It must do this,” he said.

Citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Francis said that gay people should be welcomed and respected without discrimination.

“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,” he said.

Francis went on to clarify that homosexuality is a sin, but it should not be made criminal.

“It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin,” he said. “Fine, but first, let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.”

“It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another,” he added.

Catholic teaching state that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” but notes that gay people are to be respected. Francis has not changed this teaching but has been working to reach out to the LGBT community.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Giulio Origlia/Stringer

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.