VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis has criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are.
He called on those Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.
Speaking in an exclusive interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Francis acknowledged Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
He attributed their attitudes to cultural influences and said they need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone.
Francis’ comments are the first uttered by a pope about such laws.
But they are consistent with his overall approach to the LGBTQ community.