In an explanation of his remarks on homosexuality and sin, Pope Francis stated that he was making reference to Catholic moral doctrine.
“When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which holds that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin,” Francis wrote in a letter to Jesuit Father James Martin, who contacted the Pope for clarification.
The pope continued by saying that he meant to indicate that making homosexuality a crime was “neither good nor just.”
“As you can see, I was speaking generally. It is a sin, just like any sexual act performed outside of marriage, I should have said. This is to speak of “the matter” of sin, but we are well aware that Catholic morality, for all types of sin, also considers freedom and intention in addition to the matter.
Francis had mentioned that being homosexual is not a crime during his interview with the AP on Tuesday.
“It is not illegal to be gay. It is not illegal. Sure, but it’s sinful. Okay, but first let’s define what a sin and a crime are,” he told the Associated Press.
The Church must seek to remove laws that penalize homosexuality, he said, calling them “unjust.”