March 22, 2023

Pope Francis once again affirmed that homosexuality was not “a crime” but “a sin”. He nevertheless considered that the laws that penalize it around the world were “unfair”.

An official position. In an interview conducted by the American press agency “Associated Press”, and broadcast this Wednesday, January 25, Pope Francis was asked to clarify the Vatican’s position on homosexuality. If the sovereign pontiff reaffirmed that this sexual orientation was “not a crime but a sin”, he however recalled that he found “unjust” all the laws which penalize homosexuality throughout the world.

“Being gay is not a crime,” he told AP. “It’s not a crime, yes, but it is a sin. But first, let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,” he said. “It is also a sin to lack charity towards each other,” he finally recalled, citing the catechism of his Church, according to which homosexual people are welcome there and must not be marginalized.

While many priests still support discrimination against LGBT people, Pope Francis felt that they should rather “engage in a process of conversion” and have “tenderness”. A speech that is in line with the new line advocated by the Vatican.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith establishes an official position

Indeed, in 2021, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an institution responsible for preserving Catholic dogma, had already established an official position for the Church by considering homosexuality a sin and not a crime.

The Congregation had notably declared in a note published online that “God never stops blessing each of his sons, but he does not bless sin”. The institution also concluded that the Church “does not have, nor can it have the power to bless the unions of persons of the same sex”, while recalling that this text had been approved by the pope.

Sex between men is now decriminalised, but gay marriage is still not recognized in Singapore

An official position which therefore remains somewhat ambiguous and which does not reflect the efforts of tolerance expressed by Pope Francis, who had made the outstretched hand to the homosexual community one of the markers of his pontificate. As a reminder, 67 countries still criminalize homosexuality, of which 11 provide for the death penalty.

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