Paus Franciscus. Photo/CNA
ROMA – Pope Francis clarified his related comments homosexual and sin. The pope said he was referring only to official Catholic moral teachings which teach that any sexual act outside of marriage is a sin.
And in his Friday note, Pope Francis reminded that even black-and-white teaching is subject to circumstances that might eradicate sin altogether.
Pope Francis first made the comments in a Jan. 24 interview with The Associated Press, in which he stated that laws that criminalize homosexuality are unjust and that being homosexual is not a crime.
Read: Pope Francis Calls Homosexuality Not a Crime
As he often does, Pope Francis then imagined having a conversation with someone who raised the question of the church’s official teaching, which holds that homosexual acts are sinful, or intrinsically disordered.
“Fine, but first let’s differentiate between sin and evil,” said Pope Francis. “It is also a sin not to be charitable to one another,” he added as quoted by ABC News, Sunday (29/1/2023).
His comments calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality were hailed by LGBTQ advocates as a milestone that will help end harassment and violence against LGBTQ people. But his reference to “sin” raises questions about whether he believes that simply being gay is a sin in itself.
The Rev. James Martin, an American Jesuit who runs the US-based Outreach ministry for LGBTQ Catholics, asked Pope Francis for clarification and printed the pope’s handwritten response on the Outreach website late Friday.
In his note, Pope Francis reiterated that homosexuality “is not a crime,” and said he was speaking “to stress that criminalization is neither good nor just.”
“When I say it’s a sin, I’m only referring to Catholic moral teaching, which says that any sexual act outside of marriage is a sin,” Francis wrote in Spanish, underlining the last sentence.
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