Pope Francis calls laws criminalizing homosexuality "unjust"
Why it matters: The pope's remarks build on his earlier expressions of support for the LGBTQ community, which has traditionally been marginalized by the church.
What he's saying: "Being homosexual is not a crime ... but it's a sin," the pope told AP.
- "Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime. It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another."
The big picture: While the pope hasn't distanced himself from Catholic teachings that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered," he has in recent years displayed outreach to LGBTQ people — notably when he expressed support for the first time for same-sex civil unions during a 2020 documentary.
- Francis last year called on parents not to condemn their children if they're gay and a Jesuit priest who ministers to LGBTQ Catholics shared a letter from the pope in June 2021 praising his work.
Yes, but: In March of that year, the Vatican in a decree approved by the pope said Catholic priests cannot bless such unions because God "does not and cannot bless sin."
Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional details throughout.