Pope Francis - Homosexuality is not a crime, they should be welcomed in church

He went on to criticize laws that criminalize homosexuality as 'unjust'.

• He was speaking during an interview with The Associated Press.

• To emphasize this, the man of God called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.

Pope Francis

Homosexuality is not a crime, are the words of Pope Francis.

According to the Pope, God loves us all equally. He went on to criticize laws that criminalize homosexuality as 'unjust'.

To emphasize this, the man of God called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.

He was speaking during an interview with The Associated Press.

"Being homosexual isn't a crime.

We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity," Shared the Pope during the interview

Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of "sin."

But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.

"These bishops have to have a process of conversion," he said, adding that they should apply "tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us."

Such laws are common in Africa and the Middle East and date from British colonial times or are inspired by Islamic law.

The United Nations has repeatedly called for an end to laws criminalizing homosexuality outright, saying they violate rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination and are a breach of countries' obligations under international law to protect the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Declaring such laws "unjust," Francis said the Catholic Church can and should work to put an end to them.

"It must do this. It must do this," he said.

Francis quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church in saying gay people must be welcomed and respected, and should not be marginalized or discriminated against.

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