(NewsGlobal.com)- Pope Francis said that being gay is a “sin, but not a crime,” and condemned unjust laws against gay people, according to The Daily Mail. The pontiff has been the subject of criticism from Catholics who suggest that he is more liberal than the church should be.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Francis said that God loves all people and that those in the LGBTQ+ community should be welcomed into the church. While the pope has reportedly attempted to modernize the church, he has fallen short of changing its policy around gay marriage.
He also acknowledged that Catholic bishops from some parts of the world look down on being gay as a sin but suggested that they should undergo a “process of conversion” and apply “tenderness” in the same way God does with everyone.
In the U.S., there are still over a dozen laws criminalizing sodomy despite a 2003 Supreme Court case ruling that deemed them unconstitutional. Gay rights advocates allege that these laws continue to allow the harassment of gay people in the country, referring to Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill that prevents teachers from having conservations with their students about gender and orientation.
Francis then said that the church should actively work to end laws that criminalize gay people.
“It must do this. It must do this,” he said, reiterating that they should be welcomed into the church. “We are all children of God and God loves us as we are,” he continued.
The pontiff’s comments come just after revelations that Pope Francis often uses vulgar language. He recently stunned seminarians in Barcelona when he began hurling expletives after tossing away his prepared speech for being “boring,” according to Church Militant. Testimonies from the soon-to-be-priests allege that Francis ranted against “f***ing careerists who f*** up the lives of others.”