Pope Francis said that homosexuality is a sin but “it is not a crime”

(CNN Spanish) — Pope Francis spoke again about homosexuality, a thorny issue for the Catholic Church. This time, although he made it clear that “it is not a crime”, he reaffirmed that it is a “sin” in the religious conception.

“Being homosexual is not a crime. It is not a crime,” said Francisco during an interview with AP Posted this Wednesday. Later, she insisted: “Being homosexual is not a crime. It is a human condition.”

Francis affirmed, however, that homosexuality is a sin, but asked to distinguish “between sin and crime.”

“Lack of charity with one’s neighbor is also a sin,” he said.

The Argentinean’s statements responded to a question about the position of the Catholic Church towards countries that, even today, have laws that criminalize homosexuals.

“We are all children of God,” the pope answered first. “And God loves us as we are and with the strength that we each fight for our dignity.”

Francis’ statements on homosexuality over the years

It is not the first time that he dad refers to this topic. Since he took office as the top leader of the Catholic Church in March 2013, he has made several statements in this regard that, although they indicate a certain openness, have sometimes been ambivalent.

In one of his first press conferences with journalists that year, Francisco had one of his most resonant sayings, when he said: “Who am I to judge them?”, referring to homosexuals.

“They should not be marginalized. The trend [a la homosexualidad] It’s not the problem…they are our brothers.” The problem, he said, are the “lobbies” that act against the interests of the church.

In May 2018, Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of abuse by priests, he assured that the pope told him: “God made you like this. God loves you like this.”

Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he appears on the balcony to deliver his Urbi et Orbi Christmas blessing in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican on December 25, 2022. Credit: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

That same year, however, with the publication of a new book of an interview with the Argentine pontiff, another statement grabbed the headlines: “It seems that homosexuality is in fashion.”

“The question of homosexuality is a very serious question that must be properly discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case,” the pope says, according to the book. “We have to be demanding. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church.”

He said it in an interview with Father Fernando Prado, director of the publishing house Publicaciones Claretianas, which is included in the book The strength of the vocation.

During the same conversation, Francis refers to the priesthood and says: “In the consecrated life and in the priestly life, this type of affection has no place. For this reason, the Church recommends that people with this ingrained tendency not be accepted into the ministry. nor to the consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not their place”.

Also in 2018, the Italian news magazine Vatican Insider and other Italian media They reported that Francis spoke about gay men at the seminar of the Italian Episcopal Conference, during a closed-door session.

According to a bishop present at the meeting, the pope said: “In case of doubt, better not let them in.” Which means that if someone is gay, he shouldn’t be studying for the priesthood.

In 2020, the pope returned to the public eye with a new statement on the subject, defending civil unions between homosexuals.

According to the Catholic News Agency, Pope Francis declared: “Homosexual people have the right to be in the family. They are children of God, they have the right to have a family. No one can be kicked out of the family, nor make life impossible for it,” the pope said in the documentary “Francesco.”

“What we have to create is a civil coexistence law. They have the right to be legally covered,” Francisco added.

Thus, despite the fact that Francis has had expressions about homosexuals who have shown him to be open and understanding, the policy within the Church is the same: the priesthood is not for them.

Furthermore, although for Francis being homosexual and the teaching of the Catholic Church are not mutually exclusive, The official teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality says that “the homosexual inclination is objectively a disorder” and same-sex couples cannot marry in the Catholic Church.

With information from Sebastián Jiménez Valencia and Delia Gallagher.

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