The head of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis has described Africans as a special case when it comes to their acceptance of his stance on blessing LGBTQ+ couples.
In an interview published in an Italian publication, La Stampa on Monday, January 29, the Pope defended his stance on blessing irregular and same-sex couples, noting that Africans are a special case regarding the acceptance.
According to the Pope, Africans do not tolerate homosexuality as a result of cultural inferences which makes them a special case when it comes to their tolerance of LGBTQ communities.
“Those who protest vehemently belong to small ideological groups. A special case are Africans: for them, homosexuality is something “bad” from a cultural point of view, and they don’t tolerate it,” the Pope stated
Archbishop Philip Anyolo of the Nairobi Archdiocese
Pope Francis added in his interview that his previous directive on the Roman Catholic church was aimed at uniting and not dividing the church.
He further noted that he hoped that the critics of his decision to bless couples who are not heterosexual would later accept it.
“But in general, I trust that gradually everyone will be reassured by the spirit of the “Fiducia supplicans” declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith: it aims to include, not divide”, the Pope emphasised.
Further, in his defence of the stance the Pope emphasised that the directive was aimed at blessing faithful of the church and not the union itself.
“The Gospel is to sanctify everyone. Of course, as long as there is goodwill. And it is necessary to give precise instructions on the Christian life (I underline that it is not the union that is blessed, but the people)”.
“But we are all sinners: why then draw up a list of sinners who can enter the Church and a list of sinners who cannot be in the Church? This is not the Gospel,” added Pope Francis.
In his earlier directive, the Pope had directed Catholic Priests to bless same-sex marriages, a move which was largely opposed by Priests, particularly in Africa.
Priests in Kenya also rebutted the Pope, with certain Bishops banning the blessing within their Dioceses.
A photo of Bishop Paul Kariuki, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wote