Reason Africans Don’t Accept Homosexuality Is Understandable – Pope Francis

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Pope Francis waves to faithful as he arrives at the end of a Mass celebrated by Brescia's Bishop Luciano Monari, not pictured, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, June 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has said that those criticising his recent decision to bless same-sex couples will eventually understand it, except for Africans, who, according to him, are “a special case.”

The Bishop of Rome and sovereign of the Vatican City State noted that he is confident that everyone will gradually be reassured by the spirit of the ‘Fiducia Supplicans.’

The blessings for same-sex couples were allowed last month in a document called Fiducia Supplicans (Supplicating Trust).

It however caused widespread debate in the Catholic Church, with extreme resistance from African bishops.

However, speaking to an Italian newspaper, La Stampa, the Pope noted that those against the policy belong to small ideological groups, adding that Africans reject homosexuality because of their culture.

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He further expressed optimism that everyone would embrace the situation.

“Those who protest vehemently belong to small ideological groups.

“A special case are Africans: for them homosexuality is something ‘bad’ from a cultural point of view, they don’t tolerate it.

“But in general, I trust that gradually everyone will be reassured by the spirit of the ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ declaration by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith: it aims to include, not divide,” he said.

Asked if he was concerned about a split in the church over the development, Francis replied in the negative, saying “in the church, there were small groups that manifested reflections of schismatic color” but that “you have to let them go and pass… and look ahead.”

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Speaking about his health challenges in recent years with hospitalisations, mobility issues, and cancelled trips becoming the order of his day, the 87-year-old said: “There are some aches and pains but it’s better now. I’m fine.”

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