Pope Francis says homosexuality is not a crime : NPR

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Pope Francis attends Mass for the feast of the Epiphany earlier this month in Vatican City.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


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Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Pope Francis attends Mass for the feast of the Epiphany earlier this month in Vatican City.

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

In his first interview since the death of former Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis spoke about his health, his critics and the future of the papacy.

He also criticized laws criminalizing homosexuality as unjust.

Pope Francis he told the Associated Press that, while Catholic teaching holds that homosexual acts are “sin”, being homosexual is not a “crime”. He stressed the need to distinguish between the two, saying, for example, that the lack of charity towards one another is also a sin. He added that the Catholic Church should work to end the laws in some countries that criminalize homosexuality.

Asked about his health, the 86-year-old said, “I’m healthy for my age. I’m normal.”

A knee ailment has forced the Pope to use a wheelchair in recent months.

Asked about the wave of criticism against him from conservative cardinals and bishops after Benedict’s death, Francis acknowledged that the knives are out, but he seemed unfazed.

He said it’s unpleasant, but better than keeping her under wraps.

This story originally appeared in NPR News.

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