Pope Francis said: “Being gay is not a crime. It’s not a crime. Yes it is a sin. Well yes, but first let’s distinguish between sin and crime.”
in one January 24, 2023Interviewed by The Associated Press, Pope Francis criticized laws criminalizing homosexuality and said Catholic bishops who support such laws should do more to welcome LGBTQ people into the Church.
Francis acknowledged that homosexuality is sinful but said it should not be criminalized. “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,” he said.
“It’s also a sin not to have charity with one another,” he continued.
He acknowledged that Catholic bishops around the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality and discriminate against the LGBTQ community, attributing this to different cultural backgrounds. He added that such bishops should go through an inner process of change and recognize the dignity of all.
“These bishops need to go through a process of conversion,” he said, and they should “please show tenderness as God has for each of us.”
Francis also quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church and said gay people must be respected, welcomed and not discriminated against.
“We are all children of God and God loves us just as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Francis has reached out to the gay community, beginning with his 2013 year Explanation on the sexual orientation of priests and said, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord and is of goodwill, who am I to judge?”
“We shouldn’t exclude people for this. They need to be integrated into society,” Francis told reporters at the time.
However, he was criticized for a 2021 decree by the Vatican Magisterium that said the Catholic Church could not bless same-sex partnerships.
Around 67 countries and jurisdictions around the world have laws criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual activity, and 11 of them can or do impose the death penalty, according to The Human Dignity Trust.
Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, was far more conservative on such matters, saying In 2012 gay marriage was a threat to the traditional family, undermining “the future of humanity itself.”
We classify this claim as Proper Attribution.
“Gay Marriage a Threat to the Future of Humanity: Pope.” Reuters 9 January 2012. www.reuters.com Accessed 25 January 2023.
“The AP interview: Pope says homosexuality is not a crime.” AP NEWS Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023.
“The AP Interview Takeaways: Pope Condemns Expanding Gun Use.” AP-NEWS, Jan. 25, 2023, Jan. 25, 2023.
“‘Who am I to judge?’ Pope says about gay priests.” AP NEWS July 30, 2013, January 25, 2023.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/pope-homosexuality-not-crime/ Did Pope Francis Say “Being gay is not a crime”?