“When I said it was a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching,” Francis wrote to US priest James Martin.
Pope Francis caused an uproar this week with a statement about homosexuality as a sin. Now, the pontiff has admitted that a corresponding answer in an interview could be misinterpreted. “When I said it was a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic morality, which says that all sexual contact outside of marriage is a sin,” Pope Francis wrote to Father James Martin.
“But it is clear that it is necessary to take into account the circumstances that can reduce or eliminate a debt”, added the Pope.
The Jesuit priest published the Pope’s letter on Saturday on the website of the Catholic magazine LGBTQ Outreach, of which he is editor. LGBTQ is the English abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. The Pope explained that the interview was oral and that it was “understandable” if certain nuances were lost in the transcript.
In the letter in Spanish, Francisco emphasized, as in the interview, that homosexuality is not a crime for him. “And I would say to anyone who wants to criminalize homosexuality that they are wrong,” the 86-year-old Argentine wrote.