Pope Francis and the leaders of the Protestant churches in England and Scotland have condemned the criminalization of homosexuality.
After visiting South Sudan, the Pope told reporters that such a law would be criminal and “unjust”.
He added that people with “homosexual tendencies” are children of God and should be welcomed by their churches.
His comments were supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Ian Greenshields, moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, traveled with the Pope to South Sudan to jointly call for peace in the war-torn country.
It is the first time in 500 years that the leaders of three traditions have come together for such a journey.
Archbishop Welby and Dr. Greenshields praised the Pope’s comments during a press conference with reporters aboard the Pope’s plane as they traveled from Juba to Rome.
Archbishop Welby said he “completely agrees with everything he said there”, noting that the Church of England had its own internal divisions regarding gay rights.
last month church of england He said he would refuse same-sex couples to marry in churches.
Dr. Greenshields expressed his support, referring to the Bible, stating: No matter what kind of situation a person is in.”
Pope Francis at a press conference said the Catholic Church Sacramental marriage for same-sex couples cannot be permitted.
But he civil union lawand stressed that laws banning homosexuality were “an issue that cannot be ignored.”
He suggested that 50 countries have “somehow” criminalized LGBT people, and about 10 have laws providing for the death penalty.
According to ILGA World, the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association, 66 United Nations member states now criminalize consensual same-sex relationships.
“This is not true. Homosexuals are children of God,” the pope said.
“God loves them. God accompanies them… It is a sin to condemn such people.”
Current Catholic doctrine calls homosexual relationships “deviant behavior” and Pope Francis had previously said he was “concerned” about the “serious problem” of homosexuality in the clergy.
However, some conservative Catholics have criticized him for making ambiguous statements about sexual morality.
In 2013, shortly after becoming pope, he reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s position that homosexual activity is sinful, but added that homosexual orientation is not.
Five years later, during a visit to Ireland, Pope Francis stressed that parents cannot disown LGBT children and must keep them in loving families.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/483732/pope-and-protestant-leaders-denounce-anti-gay-laws Pope and Protestant leaders condemn anti-gay laws