Pope Francis and the Criminalization of Homosexuality

Sins, crimes, and shaping the society we desire are all complex and interconnected issues. What constitutes a sin depends on each person’s relationship with God. The Bible outlines the things that we as Christians consider to be sinful. However, it is up to society to define what constitutes a crime. This is shaped by the society’s beliefs, morals, and values. Alcohol consumption, for example, is prohibited in Muslim countries, but polygamy is not. In Christian countries, however, alcohol consumption is legal, whereas polygamy is illegal. In today’s society, there is a constant debate on what is considered a sin and what is considered a crime. They are not the same.

Pope Francis stated in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, published in January 2023, that “being homosexual is not a crime.” He went on to criticize laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust” and called on Catholic bishops who support such laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. The pope wants us to consider homosexuality a sin rather than a crime. That gay people are sinners in need of repentance, not criminals who should be prosecuted in court. He is emphasizing the importance of society respecting the dignity of all individuals.

As the salt and light of your world, you may become frustrated with certain sins that are not criminalized in society. You would be wise to remember that our society is shaped by the morals and values that the majority of people agree on. For example, if you do not want polygamy, theft, or homosexuality in your society. It is not a matter of passing legislation to criminalize it. You must work hard to raise more people who share your morals and values. Christians cannot continue to believe that passing draconian laws is the key to shaping society in the image of Christ. If you want to shape families and societies, make more disciples.

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