By Kate Anderson
Daily Caller News Foundation
Anglican and Presbyterian religious leaders echoed Pope Francis’ recent comments about the injustice of the criminalization of homosexuality during an airborne conference with the pope on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
The three church leaders were returning from a trip to South Sudan in an effort to promote peace in the war-torn country, according to AP News. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Presbyterian moderator of the Church of Scotland Ret. Rev. Iain Greenshields was asked about Pope Francis’ previous comments that homosexuality should not be criminalized and confirmed that they had similar feelings on the subject.
“To condemn someone like this is a sin,” Welby said. “Criminalizing people with homosexual tendencies is an injustice. I wish I had spoken as eloquently and clearly as the pope. I entirely agree with every word he said.”
“There is nowhere in my reading of the four Gospels where I see Jesus turning anyone away,” Greenshields said. “There is nowhere in the four Gospels where I see anything other than Jesus expressing love to whomever he meets. As Christians, that is the only expression that we can possibly give to any human being in any circumstances.”
While the Church of England does not condone same-sex marriage, a spokesperson for the Church of Scotland pointed the DCNF to the church’s policies allowing for same-sex couples to be legally married within the church.
Francis had said during an interview earlier this month that he was against the practice of conversion therapy and that homosexuality is “not a crime … but it’s a sin.” The pope, however, did not repeat his previous statements during the trip to Sudan, likely due to the fact that South Sudan is one of 67 countries that has laws making homosexuality a crime and South Sudan information minister Michael Makuei Lueth’s objections to the pope’s stance on homosexuality laws.
“If he (Pope Francis) is coming here and he tells us that marriage of the same sex, homosexuality, is legal, we will say no,” Luethsaid said after the pope’s AP interview.
The Vatican and Welby did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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