Monday, February 06, 2023

Pope Francis Again Speaks Out Against Criminalization of Homosexuality

Yesterday Pope Francis returned from his visit to South Sudan.  On the flight back, he was joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland for a joint press conference. (Full text). In response to a question from a Radio France reporter, the Pope reiterated his opposition to the criminalization of homosexuality, saying in part:

The criminalization of homosexuality is an issue that must not be allowed to pass by. It is estimated that, more or less, fifty countries, in one way or another, promote this kind of criminalization - they tell me more, but let's say at least fifty - and some of these - I think it's ten, even foresee the death penalty [for homosexual persons]. This is not right, people with homosexual tendencies are children of God, God loves them, God accompanies them. It is true that some are in this state because of various unwanted situations, but to condemn such people is a sin; to criminalize people with homosexual tendencies is an injustice. I am not talking about groups, but about people. Some say: they join in groups that generate noise. I am talking about people; lobbies are something different. I am talking about people. And I believe the Catechism of the Catholic Church says they should not be marginalized. This point, I believe, is clear.

Archbishop Welby indicated agreement with the Pope, saying in part:

[T]he Church of England, the Anglican Communion – has passed resolutions at two Lambeth conferences against criminalization, but it has not really changed many people's mind.