HONOLULU (KHON2) — For decades, those who want to eradicate homosexuals have used Catholic doctrine to uphold their views and legal pursuits.

While many Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic scholars know that the word ‘homosexual’ replaced the word for ‘pedophile’ in most all modern translations of the Bible, the average person has been led to believe that homosexuality was the original target of these texts and not pedophiles.

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Homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same thing. Homosexuality is a relationship, romantic and/or sexual, between two people of the same sex. (Keep in mind that sex and gender are not the same thing.) While pedophilia is the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

Pedophilia has long been a big problem within many churches not only the Catholic Church; but some how, many people focus on the love between two people as being a crime rather than the destruction of a child’s life.

Fortunately for the world, Pope Francis has finally taken the steps needed to clarify that homosexuality is not a crime.

There are two parts to this story. The first is an interview the Associated Press did with the Pope published on Jan. 25 in which he declares that homosexuality is not a crime. The second is a follow-up exchange between the Pope and the Rev. James Martin, who is an American Jesuit and runs the U.S.-based Outreach ministry for LGBTQ Catholics, where the Pope reiterates his stance.

In the AP interview, Pope Francis clarifies the difference between a sin and a crime.

A sin is based on Catholic doctrine. Sins are moral issues that the Church identifies as being something people are to avoid in order to live a life dictated by the laws of their god.

Meanwhile, a crime is something that is based on secular laws that are meant to govern large groups of people, either to protect from harm or to reinforce certain behaviors.

“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said in the interview.

At this point, there are 67 states around the world that have criminalized homosexuality, meaning homosexuals are imprisoned or murdered. Many of these laws rely upon Church doctrine to create these laws, using the doctrine of sin as a cover to criminalize the secular lives of many.

When asked about the states around the world that have made homosexuality a crime, the Pope said the laws are “unjust,” explaining that the laws must be changed. “It must do this. It must do this,” he said.

“We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity,” Francis said.

The Pope’s focus was on the intention of the heart. The intention is what his god judges. When someone means harm, then they are judged on their intent to harm. Likewise, when someone means to love, then they are judged based on the love in their hearts.

When two people enter into a homosexual relationship with the intention of love, then the love in their hearts is what is judged. It is the intent of an action that secular laws are meant to judge as well.

“It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,” explained the Pope.

In a follow-up to this bombshell interview. the Rev. James Martin asked the Pope to clarify.

Francis stated in a letter sent to Outreach that “when I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which says that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin. Of course, one must also consider the circumstances, which may decrease or eliminate fault.”

He further stated that “as you can see, I was repeating something in general. I should have said ‘It is a sin, as is any sexual act outside of marriage.’ This is to speak of ‘the matter’ of sin, but we know well that Catholic morality not only takes into consideration the matter but also evaluates freedom and intention; and this, for every kind of sin.”

So, when a preacher commits adultery or is a pedophile, that is a sin. When a congressperson who identifies as a Christian ‘keeps’ a mistress, that is a sin. In each of these scenarios, sex outside of marriage is a sin for those bound by the moral directives of the Church.

Since same-sex marriage is now legal in the U.S. and in many European states. This means that two persons of the same sex who are married are not committing a crime. But, since the Catholic Church still does not recognize these secular unions, then the Church continues to view these unions of love as a sin.

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This is a major step in the direction of embracing love around the world. And, for those who use the Catholic Church as cover to spread hate, the Pope has made strides to neuter their efforts.