The concept of human sexuality is gaining controversial attention from various corners of the world. The rise in cases of homosexuality in the recent past in developed and developing economies is at the centre of this discussions. The Roman Catholic, like any other Christian outfit is not left behind. Pope Francis has been at the centre of this outrageous discussions in the recent weeks following quotations in his weekly briefings in the AP, a media house based in Rome, Italy, that point to a compromise on homosexuality as a lifestyle. This risked dividing the universal church into those who bow to the negative critics from other Christian groups and moral theorists and traditional who are amused by the changes in the catholic moral teachings.
This made Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest to reach out Pope Francis to offer clarification on whether the Catholic Church approves same sex marriages and campaigns for its legalisation. In his response, the Pope clarified that homosexuality is a sin as guided by the catholic moral teachings. These teachings view any sexual act out of religious marriage as a sin. On consideration the freedom and intention of the perpetrators, the pope clarified that same sex relation is a sin but not a crime. What is the difference between a sin and a crime? And which of them does the church have authority to speak about and to which extend?
According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a sin is the offence of breaking, or the breaking of, a religious or moral law. On the other hand, a crime is defined as any illegal activity or act. Oxford advanced learners dictionary defines a crime as activities that involves breaking the law, hence punishable by law. Even though it may be confusing and difficult to strike a balance between the boundaries of this act to be a sin or a crime, it is worth noting that there are many countries whose legal framework is based on moral laws as per their traditions and religious laws as per the main religion practiced. This may be the reason as to why same sex marriage that the Catholic Church views as sin be a crime that is punishable by law. This makes homosexuality an act that can be addressed from all angles irrespective of one’s religious and moral ground because one can be an atheist, or alien to the moral law of a society but cannot be immune to the legal framework of the land.