In a pivotal statement, Pope Francis recently reiterated the Catholic Church’s commitment to being inclusive of LGBTQ+ individuals, despite certain regulations and restrictions. Here’s the full story.
There Are Specific Rules
During his return flight from the World Youth Day Catholic festival in Lisbon, the 86-year-old addressed reporters, acknowledging that while the Church is open to all, there are specific rules that govern its internal operations.
Church Is Open to Everyone
During the World Youth Day festival, Pope Francis boldly proclaimed, “The Church is open to everyone, everyone, everyone.”
Reporters Were Curious
This message sparked curiosity among reporters, given the existing bans on women becoming priests and same-sex couples being denied the sacrament of marriage within the Church.
The Pope’s Response
In response to these questions, the Pope said, ““The Church is open to everyone but there are laws that regulate life inside the Church.”
“According to the legislation, they cannot partake in (some) sacraments. This does not mean that it is closed. Each person encounters God in their own way inside the Church,” he added.
The Role of Ministers
Pope Francis also underscored the role of ministers within the Church to accompany all individuals, even those who do not adhere to all of the institution’s rules, with patience and the compassion of a “mother.”
An Ally From the Start
Throughout his ten-year papacy, Pope Francis has actively sought to bridge the gap between the Catholic Church and the LGBTQ+ community.
In 2013, his famous remark, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” signified a momentous step towards inclusivity.
The Support Continued
In 2020, Pope Francis continued this trajectory by urging parents to embrace their LGBTQ+ children as children of God, encouraging unconditional love and acceptance.
It’s Still a Sin
Despite these proclamations, the Pope has also affirmed that under Catholic teachings, homosexuality remains categorized as a “sin.”
Neither Just nor Good
While he acknowledged that same-sex acts are deemed “sins” within Catholic teachings, he emphasized that criminalization is neither just nor good.
Social Media Users Shared Their Views
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “In other words it’s not open to LGBT people. Especially if any of the rules are celibacy, not marrying, and being allowed to adopt. Don’t fall for it folks.”
Another user wrote, “What he means – our membership is declining so quickly, let’s pretend we aren’t bigoted haters. What he doesn’t understand – only blinded Catholics will be fooled into thinking that’s a nice statement?”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Daniel Jedzura. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.