Another message of gay acceptance has been handed down from the Vatican.
Pope Francis recently met with gay British comedian Stephen K. Amos, one of eight celebrities who participated in BBC Two’s Pilgrimage: The Road to Rome, a new docu-series about faith and spirituality.
Amos, grieving the recent loss of his mother and twin sister, told the Catholic Church leader he’s “looking for answers and faith, but as a gay man, I don’t feel accepted.”
“Giving more importance to the adjective than the noun—this is not good,” Francis responded, as seen in a clip from the series. “We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are or how you live your life, you do not lose your dignity.”
— BBC Two (@BBCTwo) April 19, 2019
“There are people that prefer to select or discard people, because of the adjective,” His Holiness continued. “These people don’t have a human heart.” Francis then embraced Amos, who whispered “thank you.”
“There was no dry eye in the room at that moment,” Amos tells Gay Star News. “I felt like I was asking on behalf of a lot of people. To hear him say those words in his position, and those words being heard by a lot of his followers and devotees—that stuff’s huge.”
Amos would not attend the papal audience unless he was permitted to ask about the Catholic Church’s treatment of LGBTQ people, iNews reports.
“He gave me faith in humanity,” Amos tells the Mirror. “He knows his response to my question… will have ramifications around the world.”
“The pope is showing that the social justice tradition about human dignity is more important than the sexual ethics tradition, which does not approve of same-gender sexual relationships,” New Ways Ministry reports.
Earlier this month Francis told a Spanish journalist that homosexual tendencies “are not a sin” while encouraging parents to accept LGBTQ children.
Last year he reportedly told a victim of clerical sexual abuse that God made him gay and loves him that way.
While the Catholic Church has historically resisted strides in LGBTQ liberation, Pope Francis has shown a more progressive view than his predecessors. His messages on LGBTQ issues, however, have been mixed.
Most famously, in 2013 he said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Yet last year he reportedly instructed bishops to keep gay men out of the priesthood.
Last year also marked the first pro-LGBTQ family speech during the World Meeting of Families. But Francis has called same-sex parenting “ungodly.”
Francis has welcomed meetings with trans people but reportedly criticized trans-inclusive education, arguing instead that children be taught to “accept their own body as it was created.”