Pope Francis stated in a press conference at the World Youth Catholic Festival in Portugal that LGBTQ+ people are welcome in the church, but there are caveats.
During one event during the trip, Pope Francis told a crowd that the Church had room for “everyone, everyone, everyone,” even “including those who make mistakes, who fall or struggle.” This prompted the crowd to break out in a chant of “Todos, todos, todos!” (Everyone, everyone, everyone!). Pope Francis inspired the crowd with his message everyone is allowed in the Catholic church, a stance that is relatively progressive compared to past popes. However, on the papal plane returning to Rome, one reporter pointed out that women are not allowed to become priests and same-sex couples are not allowed to get married. (Everyone? Everyone? Everyone?)
“The Church is open to everyone but there are laws that regulate life inside the church,” Pope Francis responded.
“According to the legislation, they cannot partake in (some) sacraments. This does not mean that it is closed. Each person encounters God in their own way inside the Church,” he continued.
Pope Francis also stated that ministers must support all people with the love of a “mother,” even those who are not following the Catholic teachings.
In his 10 years of Popehood, he has conservatively supported the LGBTQ+ community while making sure not to upset more devout crowds. In 2013, he said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” In 2020, he told parents of LGBTQ+ children to support them “because they are children of God”.
However, while taking a more progressive stance on the LGBTQ+ community, Pope Francis continues to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church. He clarified that he does not believe homosexuality should be a crime, but he did state that “it is a sin,” as with all sexual acts outside of marriage.
The Catholic Church continues to not recognize or even bless same-sex marriages, but the pope supports “civil legislation that gives same-sex couples rights in areas such as pensions, health insurance and inheritance.”