IS HOMOSEXUALITY SIN?


By Akin Ojumu

According to the Most Holy Father, Pope Francis, it depends on the circumstances.

Last week, Pope Francis was interviewed by the Associated Press. In the interview, the Most Holy Father criticized the criminalization of homosexuality. Restating his own position on homosexuality, Pope Francis said, “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.”

As you’d expect, a groundswell of angry reactions trailed the interview from both sides of the issue. While the LGBTQ community condemned Pope Francis’ comments as being judgmental, opponents of homosexuality pummeled the Holy Father for capitulating to the homosexual agenda.

But in a neck breaking about-face, the Holy Father is now attempting to walk back those comments. Even before the mushroom cloud of the controversy settles, Pope Francis is doing a reversal. Flip-flopping like only the Supreme Father of the Holy See can, the man sitting on the Papal’s throne has now released a letter clarifying his comments about homosexuality and sin, saying he was merely referring to official Catholic moral teaching that teaches that any sexual act outside of marriage is a sin.

In the opinion of the Holy Father, being in a homosexual relationship is no sin at all, as long as it exists within the confines of a marital relationship. According to the Pope, whether or not a homosexual relationship is sinful also depends on “the circumstances”. The “circumstances” may decrease or eliminate the fault.

Below is Pope Francis’ letter in its entirety.

Dear brother,

Thank you for your letter.

It is not the first time that I speak of homosexuality and of homosexual persons.

And I wanted to clarify that it is not a crime, in order to stress that criminalization is neither good nor just.

When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which says that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin. Of course, one must also consider the circumstances, which may decrease or eliminate fault. As you can see, I was repeating something in general. I should have said “It is a sin, as is any sexual act outside of marriage.” This is to speak of “the matter” of sin, but we know well that Catholic morality not only takes into consideration the matter, but also evaluates freedom and intention; and this, for every kind of sin.

And I would tell whoever wants to criminalize homosexuality that they are wrong.

In a televised interview, where we spoke with natural and conversational language, it is understandable that there would not be such precise definitions.

I pray for you and for your work. Please do the same for me.

May Jesus bless you and may the Holy Virgin protect you.

Fraternally,

Francisco

Now, who am I to question the Holy Father? I can only remind him of Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans in Romans 1:18-32. 

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

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