Pope Francis criticises laws against homosexuality as unjust

In an interview, Pope Francis took a remarkably progressive stance on homosexuality by Vatican standards. "Homosexuality is not a crime," says the head of the Catholic Church. According to him, the Church must fight against bans on homosexuality. In his eyes it remains a "sin" however. The Pope makes the statements just before a visit to various African countries.
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Although Francis has often tended towards some emancipation of homosexuals, the current statements are special. The Pope says in the interview with the AP news agency that he believes that the Catholic Church should make an effort to challenge the illegality of homosexuality. He hopes that bishops who support such legislation will undergo a process of realising that everyone deserves dignity. "God has a place for each of us."

No Pope has ever publicly spoken in favour of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Still, homosexuality remains a "sin" in Francis' eyes. The Catholic Church does not support same-sex marriage.

Nevertheless, the Pope's words have been received positively by various LGBT+ organisations. “His landmark statement should send a message to world leaders and millions of Catholics around the world: LGBT+ people deserve to live in a world free of violence and condemnation, and with greater kindness and understanding,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, an LGBT+ organisation from the US.

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