Pope Francis writes a letter to Jesuit Fr. In an interview with the AP, James Martin explained his recent comments that “being homosexual is not a crime,” referring to Catholic doctrine that teaches that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin.
By Vatican News
“I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching that all sex outside of marriage is a sin.”
Pope Francis wrote these words in response to a letter from Father James Martin, SJ, who carries out his apostolate among the LGBTQ community in the United States.
The American Jesuit wrote a letter to the Holy Father after his recent interview with the Associated Press.
The Pope’s handwritten response in Spanish is posted Father Martin’s sitetogether with an English translation.
It was already clear from the context of the interview that the Pope was talking about homosexuality, that is, not about homosexuality itself, but about “homosexual acts.”
In his letter, Pope Francis once again stated that his position is based on the position of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The first interview with journalists on the plane returning from Brazil in 2013 (“If a man is gay and seeks God and has good intentions, who am I to judge?”).
In response to Fr. Martin, the Pope stressed that regarding the sin “it is necessary to take into account the circumstances that can reduce or eliminate the sin.”
“I should have said that it is as sinful as any sexual act outside of marriage,” the Pope added. “This is to speak of the ‘issue’ of sin, but we know very well that Catholic morality does not only consider the issue, but also values freedom and intention; and that for every kind of sin.”
Pope Francis reiterated in his letter that being gay is not a crime.
“I would tell anyone who wants to criminalize homosexuality that they are wrong,” he wrote. “It is understandable that there will not be such precise definitions in a television interview where we speak in natural and colloquial language.”
There are more than 50 countries where homosexuality can be legally punished, and some of these nations even use the death penalty.
The Pope sent the letter to Fr. Martin said he is praying for her and her work with the LGBTQ community.
“Please do the same for me,” he said.
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