TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pope Francis called on the Roman Catholic Church to welcome LGBTQ people

Pope Francis called on the Roman Catholic Church to welcome LGBTQ people and to do more to put an end to laws that criminalize homosexuality. "We are all God's children," he said.
Pope Francis condemned “unjust” laws that criminalize homosexuality in an interview with The Associated Press that was published on Wednesday, adding that the Roman Catholic Church should do more to put an end to such legislation and that bishops should welcome L.G.B.T.Q. people into the church, especially in countries where such laws exist.

“Being homosexual is not a crime,” Francis said in the interview, adding that God loves all his children just as they are. Francis called on all countries with laws criminalizing homosexuality — 67 of them in total, including nearly a dozen that have the death penalty, he noted — to undo those laws. “That’s wrong. It’s very wrong. I don’t think anyone should be discriminated against,” he said. Several of the countries are in Africa, which the pope will visit next week.

Asked whether the church should work toward repealing the laws, Francis said, “Yes, yes, they have to do it, they have to do it.”

Francis said there needed to be a distinction between sin and a crime when it came to homosexuality. The Catholic Church considers homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered” and a sin, but believes that people in the L.G.B.T.Q. community should be welcomed with respect and sensitivity.

“First, let us distinguish sin from crime,” Francis said during the 75-minute interview conducted on Tuesday in Santa Marta, the Vatican hotel he calls home. “But it is also a sin to lack charity with one another.”

He also called on bishops who support laws that punish or discriminate against the L.G.B.T.Q. community to undergo a “process of conversion” and instead apply “tenderness.”

Francis quoted the catechism of the church, which teaches that L.G.B.T.Q. people should not be marginalized but welcomed.

The pope has made outreach to the L.G.B.T.Q. community one of the pillars of his papacy. A few months after his election in 2013, he famously said, “Who am I to judge?” when asked during a papal flight from Brazil about priests who might be gay. In a 2020 documentary, he appeared to endorse same-sex civil unions. The Vatican later clarified that the pope believed that gay couples deserved civil protections, including legal rights and health care benefits, but that his comments had not marked a change in church doctrine.

In 2021, many in the L.G.B.T.Q. community took Francis to task for a ruling issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith barring priests from blessing same-sex unions, calling such a blessing “not licit.”

Reaction to the pope’s call for decriminalization was immediate.

Pope Francis’ historic call for the decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide is an immense step forward for L.G.B.T.Q. people, their families and all who love them,” said Father James Martin, the editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America, who said he specifically discussed the issue with Francis at various meetings. “This is the first time that any pope has made such a clear statement about this issue of life and death.” He added that the pope “is siding, as he always does, with life, with human dignity and with the belief that all of us are created in the image of God.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and chief executive of GLAAD, an advocacy group, called Francis’ remarks “a game changer in the fight to decriminalize L.G.B.T.Q. people and also illustrate the work that needs to be done with religious leaders to finally show that being L.G.B.T.Q. is not a sin.”

Francis addressed a wide range of other issues in the interview, including the diplomatic relations between the Vatican and China (“The main thing, the dialogue doesn’t break”) and the use of guns by civilians for self-defense in the United States after the recent mass shootings in California. (It “becomes a habit,” Francis said. “Instead of making the effort to help us live, we make the effort to help us kill.”)

The 86-year-old pontiff said he was in “good health,” but he also revealed that diverticulosis, a colon condition, had “returned.” Francis had surgery in 2021 to remove a section of his colon because of the condition.

In recent years, Francis’ health has caused intermittent concern. Last summer, he postponed a challenging trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan (which he will make next week) because of problems with his right knee. He told The A.P. that a slight bone fracture in his knee had healed after laser and magnet therapy.

The pope also has problems with sciatica, a chronic nerve condition that causes back, hip and leg pain, and makes him walk with a limp. Flare-ups of that condition have forced him to cancel or modify high-profile appearances.

These setbacks, combined with his age, have fueled speculation that Francis might follow in the steps of his predecessor and step down. Benedict XVI, who died last month, retired in 2013, the first pope in 600 years to do so.

Francis has said in past interviews that he has never ruled out retirement, though he had no immediate plans to do so. But he said in the interview that he had not thought about drafting norms to “regulate” papal retirements.

He also addressed the sexual-abuse crisis, saying that more remained to be done. He pledged the church would be more transparent when it handled such cases. “It is what I want. It is what I want, isn’t it?” he said. “And with transparency comes a very beautiful thing, which is shame.”

He added, “I prefer a church that is ashamed because it discovers its sins, which God forgives,” rather than a church that “hides its sin, which God does not forgive.”

Francis also addressed the wave of criticism from cardinals and bishops of his papacy that only intensified after Benedict’s death on Dec. 31, describing it like an unpleasant “rash that bothers you a bit.” But he said that it was important that his critics were able to speak freely. Criticism was to be expected, he said, part of the “wear and tear of a 10-year government.”

“If it’s not like this, there would be a dictatorship of distance, as I call it, where the emperor is there and no one can tell him anything,” Francis said. “Criticism helps you to grow and improve things.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×