In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press (AP), Pope Francis on Wednesday criticised laws that criminalise homosexuality as unjust, declaring that while Catholic teaching holds that homosexual acts are a “sin,” being homosexual is not a “crime.”
As a result, Francis saw the need to differentiate between the two.
He told AP that lack of charity is also a sin.
In this regard, Francis noted the need to distinguish between sin and crime.
And Francis declared that the Catholic Church should work to end laws in some countries that criminalise homosexuality.
“We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are,” he declared during the AP interview.
The Executive Director of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) responded to the Pope’s comments in a St Lucia Times interview.
“I actually thought like, ‘wow.’ I didn’t think that this would have been seen in my lifetime where someone finally gets it,” Kenita Placide stated.
“I think that when people look at understanding sexuality, it is really diverse and more diverse than people realise. But coming from the top leadership of this religious corps, I think it took true reflection and a true understanding of reviewing exactly what this is and how it stands,” Placide told St Lucia Times.
Nevertheless, the ECADE Executive Director acknowledged that people might not accept it.
“The same way we look at different shades and colours of people, is the same way we look at different and diverse sexualities that exist,” she explained.
ECADE, which announced six years of advocacy last month, had called for ‘Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All’ sexual and gender-diverse people in the region.
It noted that laws criminalising consensual, private sexual acts between persons above the age of consent had been declared unconstitutional in two eastern Caribbean countries in 2022.
The organisation recalled that its litigation initiative led courts in Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Kitts and Nevis to strike down such laws.
“Justice for all demands that we remove all laws that unjustly target a specific people because of who they love or how they honour their gender,” ECADE asserted.