Pope Francis on the Dignity of Persons, including Homosexuals

“In the interview [with Associated Press on 26 January], Pope Francis was then asked about the issue of homosexuality. Being homosexual, he said, ‘is not a crime but is a part of the ‘human condition.’ With regard to the rights of people who identify as LGBT, the Pope said, ‘We are all children of God, and God wants us as we are and with the strength that each of us fights for our dignity.’

Then, as he often does in his preaching or interviews, the Pope imagined a dialogue between two people. Someone might say that homosexuality ‘is a sin.’ In response, the Pope clarified, ‘First we distinguish between sin and crime,’ adding, ‘It is also a sin to lack charity toward one another.’

This was an opportunity for the Pope to address a criticism of laws that criminalize homosexuality, which he described as ‘unjust.’ ‘I think there are more than 50 countries that have legal condemnation and of these, I think about 10, a little bit more or less, have the death penalty [for homosexuality]. They don’t mention it directly, but they say ‘those who have unnatural attitudes.’

He also called on bishops who discriminate against persons with homosexual attractions and ‘LGBT’ communities to take a different approach. In this area, the Pontiff recalls the Catechism of the Catholic Church which affirms ‘that people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed, not marginalized‚Ķ’

No one should be discriminated against, the Pope insisted, adding that this is not just a question of homosexuality. ‘Even the worst murderer, the worst sinner should not be discriminated against. Every man and woman should have a window in their life to which they can turn their hopes and where they can see the dignity of God.’