Pope Francis is urging a shift in how the Catholic Church views homosexuality and emphasizes the need for bishops in particular to be accepting and respectful.
The Pope told the Associated Press in a Vatican interview that “we are all children of God, and God loves us for the strength that each of us battles for our dignity.”
The pope declared that homosexuality “is not a crime.” Then, after mentioning that it was a sin, he said, “but first let’s make a distinction between a sin and a crime. The absence of kindness toward one another is a sin as well.
The Catholic Church, according to Pope Francis, should seek to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality and stigmatize the community. It must perform this. This has to happen, he insisted.
Bishops in particular, he continued, should exercise “tenderness, please, as God has for each of us.”
When asked about a homosexual priest in 2013, Pope Francis said, “Who am I to judge,” and was immediately hailed as the best hope for liberals. However, the Vatican has subsequently changed its position on LGBTQ issues. In 2021, the doctrinal office issued a decree stating that the church cannot approve of same-sex partnerships “since God cannot approve of sin.”