By Christian George
Pope Francis has frowned at criminalizing homosexuality, describing it as unjust, adding that God loves all his children just as they are.
The Vatican Priest said this in an exclusive with Associated Press, yesterday. Pope Francis stressed that being a homosexual is not a crime thereby urging Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.
He said that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, while he himself describes it as a sin, adding that bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.
As at 2003, the Supreme Court had declared anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional. The United Nations has repeatedly called for an end to laws criminalizing homosexuality outrightly, stressing that it is a violation of rights to privacy and freedom.
The pope quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church by saying that gay people should not be marginalized or discriminated instead they should be welcomed and respected.
It could be recalled that Pope Francis was expected to issue a statement opposing criminalization of homosexuality with a human rights group on the effect of such laws but he declined. He maintained that there should be a clear distinction between a crime and a sin with respect to homosexuality. According to him, “Being homosexual is not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime”.