(Source Axios AM):
Pope Francis called laws that criminalize homosexuality “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are. He called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.
- “Being homosexual is not a crime,” he said during an interviewwith AP’s Nicole Winfield at the Vatican hotel where he lives.
- “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime … It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another.”
Why it matters: 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity, 11 of which can or do impose the death penalty, according to The Human Dignity Trust.
- In the U.S., more than a dozen states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books, despite a 2003 Supreme Court ruling declaring them unconstitutional.
The pope said the Catholic Church should work to put an end to such laws: “It must do this. It must do this.”
- “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 added.
Francis said bishops need to “have a process of conversion” and should apply “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us.”
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