Pope Francis is known for being outspoken and a strong advocate for social justice.
So, it’s no surprise that the pope was quick to criticize anti-LGBT bigotry during a recent visit to Argentina.
Speaking in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, on Thursday, the pope said he was “not a believer” in the so-called “religious extremism” that was being promoted by the country’s conservative president, Mauricio Macri.
The pope told reporters that Macri was “trying to use religious ideology to control people’s lives.”
“I don’t think that there are any religious extremist elements,” the pope told a crowd of about 100,000 people, adding that he hoped Macri would see “the light.”
Macri, a devout Catholic, has repeatedly condemned the idea that homosexuality should be criminalized.
“If they try to say that they are against homosexual acts, I don’t agree with them,” Macri told the Associated Press news agency last month.
Pope Francis: “I am a believer in the dignity of every human person, but I do not believe that all are born with the same dignity.”
The pontiff said he would speak out against “inhuman, cruel, inhuman” acts that had been carried out against LGBT people in Argentina, such as the execution of a gay man in 2016.
“When they do this, they do not understand what it is like to be a human being, to be free and not to be subordinate to others,” the Pope said.
“I am the Pope of peace and love, but my faith is more concerned with justice than with human rights,” the pontiff continued.
“I believe in the universal dignity of all, including the least.”
The Pope also said he supported a bill that would decriminalize same-sex relationships, calling it a “moral victory.”
He has previously spoken out against anti-gay laws and has previously defended the Catholic Church in Argentina.