Pope Francis and leaders of protestant churches in England and Scotland condemn the disallowance of homosexuality.
After visiting South Sudan, the Pope said to the reporters that such laws are a sin and “an injustice”. In addition, he said people with “homosexual tendencies” are children of God and must be welcomed by their churches.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland supported his comments.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Ian Greenshields visited South Sudan with the Pope where they called for peace in the war-torn nation.
For the first time, leaders of the three traditions came together for a journey like this in 500 years.
Archbishop Welby and Dr Greenshields applauded the Pope’s comments at a conference with reporters on board the papal plane, a plane designated for the Pope to board for his visits, as they flew from Juba to Rome.
Archbishop Welby said, “I entirely agree with every word he said there”, observing the Anglican church had its internal divisions regarding gay rights.
The Church of England, last month, said it defies the allowance of same-sex couples to get married in its churches.
Dr Greenshields, expressing his support by citing from the Bible, said, “There is nowhere in the four Gospels that I see anything other than Jesus expressing love to whomever he meets, and as Christian that is the only expression that we can give to any human being in any circumstance.
At the conference, Pope Francis fixated on his views of the Catholic Church refusing permission for sacramental marriage of same-sex couples. He also said he promoted the so-called civil union legislation and highlighted that prohibiting homosexuality is “a problem that cannot be ignored.”
He advised that 50 countries illegalized LGBT people “in one way or another”, and around 10 countries have laws stating the death penalty.
At present, as per the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), 66 member states outlaw consensual same-sex relations.
The Pope said, “This is not right. Persons with homosexual tendencies are children of God.”
“God loves them. God accompanies them… condemning a person like this is a sin.”
Gay relations are described as “deviant behaviour” as per current Catholic doctrine and the Pope previously said he was “worried” about the “serious matter” of homosexuality among the clergy.
But some orthodox Catholics condemned him for his comments, saying they are doubtful about sexual morality.
After becoming Pope in 2013, he reinstated the Catholic Church’s view that homosexual acts were sinful, but the homosexual intention was not.
On his visit to Ireland, five years later, Pope Francis fixated on parents cannot abandon their LGBT children and keep them in a loving family.