Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are, and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ+ people into the church.
Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, 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.
Francis’ comments, which were hailed by gay rights advocates as a milestone, are the first uttered by a pope about such laws. But they are also consistent with his overall approach to LGBTQ+ people and belief that the Catholic Church should welcome everyone and not discriminate.
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.