Pope Francis: ‘Homosexuality is Not a Crime’

Pope Francis

“Being homosexual is not a sin.”

Pope Francis uttered these monumental words during an interview with the Associated Press. As the leader of one billion Catholics worldwide the pontiff’s words carry a lot of weight.

I hope Catholic bishops are paying close attention to the words of their Pope; Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community. In some countries homosexuality is a crime punishable by death, but even where the draconian laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigmatization and violence against gays and lesbians.

I applaud the divine declaration of the Pope, but he needs to go further and declare that homosexuality is not a sin. As a religious leader he needs to speak plainly using religious words that resonate with Catholics.

And then he needs to go a step further and teach that homosexuality is a blessing, a manifestation of romantic love that’s just as life-affirming as heterosexual love.

Finally, the Pope must make an official proclamation, speaking “ex cathedra”, and make it clear once and for all that gays and lesbians are part of God’s family and must be accepted as equals in all layers of society, including the Catholic church. 

The Pope is infallible when he speaks “ex cathedra”, so this would end the debate within Catholicism, and any Catholic who discriminated against the LGBT community from that point on would be considered a heretic.