(RepublicanNews.org) – Pope Francis made an interesting remark about Africans in a recent interview, claiming the continent represents a “special case” by demonstrating the most opposition to the Catholic Church’s declaration on homosexuality.
Except for Africans, Francis is confident that most critics of his recent decision to allow the church to bless same-sex couples would come around and eventually understand. The document, titled “Fiducia Supplicans” (Latin for “Supplicating Trust”), sparked widespread debate amongst Catholics and some resistance, particularly amongst African bishops, which Francis addressed in an interview on Monday, January 29th.
Those protesting the most “vehemently,” Francis said, “belong to small ideological groups” and do not represent the majority of the Church’s opinion. He told the Italian press that Africans present “a special case” because their “cultural point of view” still generally sees homosexuality as something bad and intolerable. The Pope said that despite the disagreement coming from African bishops, he trusts that most people will “gradually… be reassured by the spirit” of the declaration, which he stated “aims to include, not divide.”
In a previous interview, he appeared to subtly address the pushback from African bishops, some of whom are from nations that have laws on the books that punish homosexuality by prison sentence or even the death penalty. Francis said that priests should “take into account” while giving blessings the particular “context” and “sensitivities” of the place where that priest lives and in a way that’s “appropriate.”
The Pope also previously specified that although couples may be blessed, the blessing is not an approval of them as a couple who may be living a lifestyle considered sinful according to Church doctrine but a recognition of each of the two individuals who are seeking a closer relationship with God despite their attractions. Francis said when a couple asks for a blessing, the priest should “not bless the union,” but each of the two persons who have come forward for a blessing.
Francis also commented on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the latest interview and advocated for a two-state solution, which he said is the only way “true peace” can be achieved. He currently has visits planned for his homeland of Argentina, which he hasn’t seen since ascending to the Papacy in 2013, as well as Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Indonesia, and Belgium.
Copyright 2024, RepublicanNews.org