Homosexuality not a crime says pope of words, not deeds

pope francis online pornography homosexuality not a crime
Image: Rolando Mailo

Pope Francis declared this week that homosexuality is not a crime. But for all his nice words, this unusually progressive pontiff is 86 years old. It appears conservative Catholic leaders are planning to slam the door shut on any further liberalisation at the end of his reign.

Sixty-seven countries still have laws on their books against homosexuality. Next week, the pope will travel to two African countries. Although the Democratic Republic of Congo has no laws against same-sex sexual activity, gays and lesbians are sometimes prosecuted under public indecency laws. In South Sudan, men face prison sentences of up to ten years for gay sex acts and the government regularly enforces the law.

So, the pope’s declaration that gay sex is not a crime is welcome, even if too little, too late.

In an interview with the Vatican correspondent for Associated Press, Francis described homosexuality as a sin, not a crime.

“Being homosexual is not a crime. It’s not a crime. Yes, but it is a sin. First, let’s make a distinction between sin and crime. But it’s also a sin to lack charity toward another. So what about that?”

Admittedly, the statement probably caused tremors at the Vatican as the recently deceased Benedict rolled in his grave. That’ll be nothing compared to when they finally get around to burying George Pell.

But practically, the pope saying homosexuality is not a crime at the age of 86 achieves little. The leader of the Catholic Church wields enormous power in the world. However, during his decade in power, other than a few, usually ambiguous, nice words, Francis has achieved no reform of note in the church regarding LGBTIQA+ rights.

Although an impressively progressive pontiff, he’s talked the talk rather than walking the walk.

And now, most commentators believe conservative cardinals are mustering their forces to ensure the next pope is a fellow conservative, more in the mould of John Paul II or the recently departed Benedict XVI. And they wonder why people stop going to church. This mob have no idea. May their god help them.

Also: Is Pope Francis moving church forward as irrelevance looms?

Benedict XVI: thoughts and prayers for vile former pope.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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