June 13, 2024

MOON Desk: People who criminalise homosexuality are “wrong”, Pope Francis said in a letter published on Saturday, seeking to clarify earlier comments about homosexual acts being a “sin”.
In an interview published on Wednesday, the pope had said being homosexual was “not a crime … but it’s a sin”.
In the letter published on Saturday, which was written to a Jesuit priest, Francis said he had wanted in the interview “to clarify that it (homosexuality) is not a crime, in order to stress that criminalisation is neither good nor just”.
“When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which says that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin,” he wrote.
The pontiff was responding to a letter from US priest James Martin, who asked for clarity on comments the pope made during the interview with the Associated Press news agency.
The issue of homosexuality has caused a major rift in the Catholic Church between modernisers and conservatives.
Francis, 86, has stirred controversy since being appointed pope in 2013 with his relatively liberal attitude towards sexual orientation. Francis’ letter, written in Spanish, was translated into English and published by the website Outreach, a Catholic LGBTQ resource of which Martin is the editor.

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