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New book offers insight to Pope Francis' view on homosexuality

Mon 11 Jan 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A new book is set to be released in which Pope Francis discusses his views on sexuality and marriage.

The book, The Name of God Is Mercy, has been released in the Vatican's Holy Year of Mercy, which began in December 2015.

In a wide raging interview, the pontiff said: "I am glad that we are talking about 'homosexual people' because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity.

"And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love.

"I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together."

The interview covers a number of other topics, including marriage annulments: "I have a niece who was married to a man in a civil wedding before he received the annulment of his previous marriage.

"They wanted to get married, they loved each other, they wanted children, and they had three.

"The judge had even awarded him custody of the children from his first marriage. This man was so religious that every Sunday, when he went to Mass, he went to the confessional and said to the priest, 'I know you can't absolve me but I have sinned by doing this and that, please give me a blessing.' This is a religiously mature man."

The leader of the Catholic Church also covered corruption, a hot topic in light of recent Vatican scandals surrounding the Church's alleged financial mismanagement.

Pope Francis said: "The corrupt man gets angry because his wallet is stolen and so he complains about the lack of safety on the streets, but then he is the one who cheats the state by evading taxes, or else he fires his employees every three months so he doesn't have to hire them with a permanent contract, or else he has them work off the books.

"And then he boasts to his friends about his cunning ways. He is the one who goes to Mass every Sunday but has no problem using his powerful position to demand kickbacks. ... The corrupt man often doesn't realize his own condition, much as a person with bad breath does not know they have it."

The book is released on Tuesday, in order to coincide with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a year in which Catholics are called on to seek forgiveness, as well as to forgive others.

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