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Franklin Graham posted a scathing personal indictment of the Pope’s words to his Facebook account, writing, “For Pope Francis to attempt to normalize homosexuality is to say that Holy Scriptures are false, that our sins really don’t matter, and that we can continue living in them.”
“If that were true, then Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection wouldn’t have been needed,” Graham continued. “The cross would have been for nothing. No one has the right or the authority to trivialize Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.”
Graham is resolutely insistent that the Pope’s message is incompatible with that of the church’s, blasting Francis for supporting a lifestyle which he deems “unthinkable in light of the Word of God.”
Graham’s strikingly anti-LGBTQ statement came after Pope Francis verbally supported civil unions for gay couples in a recently released documentary.
Francis’ comments, made in Francesco, which debuted at the Rome Film Festival last week, were a groundbreaking first for the Catholic Church, which has never previously had a Pope openly support legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
Graham has a long history of anti-LGBTQ animosity. Earlier this year, he compared LGBTQ medical workers to drunks and drug users, and last year he blamed Hollywood and gay relationships for a rise in STDs.
While Francis’ comments on same-sex civil unions were celebrated, he has had a complicated relationship with LGBTQ people during his time as Pope. Last year, he said that politicians who rant about gay people remind him of Hitler, and told a gay British comedian that those who discard gay people for their sexuality “don’t have a human heart.”
However, in 2018 he complained about homosexuality being “fashionable” and said that the thought of gay clergy members “worries him.” That same year, he told a Catholic families event that same-sex parent families don’t deserve to be recognized by the church.
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