In an interview with the Associated Press (AP) agency broadcast on Wednesday, January 25, Pope Francis judged “unjust” the laws that criminalize homosexuality, a sexual orientation that nevertheless remains a ” Fishing “ to his eyes. He called on priests who support such laws to welcome homosexual people into their churches, while finding that their point of view is based on cultural contexts, and called for a “conversion process” so that these priests grant equal dignity to each and every one.
“Homosexuality is not a crime”, according to Pope Francis, who believes that the Church must participate in the repeal of such regulations. He quoted the catechism of his Church, according to which homosexual people are welcome there and should not be marginalized.
To AP, the pope maintained that in his eyes homosexuality remains a ” Fishing “as well as “the act of lacking charity towards someone”. According to Catholic doctrine, homosexuals should be treated with respect, but this orientation remains “intrinsically disordered”.
“Who am I to judge? »
Francis did not reform this approach, while making the outstretched hand to the homosexual community a marker of his pontificate. In 2019, activists expected the pope to make a statement against the criminalization of homosexuality during a meeting with human rights defenders specializing in these laws and “conversion therapies”. In fact, they had only spoken with the number two of the Vatican, the Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, who had reaffirmed “the dignity of every human person” and had spoken “against all forms of violence”.
In 2013, when asked about a priest known to be homosexual, the pope asked: “Who am I to judge? » As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had promoted legal protections for same-sex couples as an alternative to same-sex marriage forbidden by doctrine. On the other hand, he had been criticized by the LGBT community for a 2021 decree whose terms prevented the Church from blessing a homosexual union.
The Vatican had refrained from signing a UN declaration in 2018 calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, on the grounds that the text went beyond its initial scope and mentioned “sexual orientation” and of “gender identity”, expressions he found problematic. At the time, the Vatican urged nations to avoid “unfair discrimination” against homosexuals.
“Don’t Say Gay”
Sixty-seven countries criminalize homosexuality, of which eleven provide for the death penalty, according to AP, citing the NGO Human Dignity Trust. Laws criminalizing homosexuality are widespread in Africa and the Middle East, dating from the British Empire or inspired by Islamic law.
In the United States, a dozen states have sodomy laws, despite a Supreme Court ruling dating back to 2003 declaring them unconstitutional. Gay rights activists denounce these old texts as the new ones, like the Florida law nicknamed “Don’t Say Gay” (“don’t say homosexual”), which prohibits the teaching of issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity until the third grade of elementary school – the equivalent of CE2. The United Nations has long called for the removal of laws criminalizing homosexuality.