2023-01-25 07:00:56

The AP Interview: Pope Francis: 'Homosexuality Not a Crime'

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U.S. News & World Report
By Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as unjust, saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.

Being homosexual isnt a crime, Francis said during an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press.

Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of sin. But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds, and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.

These bishops have to have a process of conversion, he said, adding that they should apply tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us."

Some 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, which works to end such laws. Experts say even where the laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigmatization and violence against LGBTQ people.

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