Evangelical preacher Franklin Graham has lashed out at Pope Francis for “trivialising Christ’s sacrifice” by “normalising homosexuality”.
Pope Francis suggested in a documentary that premiered on Wednesday (October 21) that gay people “have a right to be part of the family” and threw his support behind “civil union law” so same-sex relationships can be “legally covered”.
The comments made global headlines and represented a major break from traditional Catholic teaching.
And it’s safe to say that Franklin Graham is not impressed.
In a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday (October 22), Graham hit out at Pope Francis, branding his comments “unthinkable in light of the Word of God”.
Graham went on to reference the Old Testament in his efforts to prove that the family is composed of a “male husband and a female wife” and a number of children.
The right-wing preacher suggested that the love of God is “completely inclusive”, but went on to claim that people must “repent” in order for society to be “saved”.
Franklin Graham hit out at Pope Francis for ‘trivialising Christ’s sacrifice’.
“For Pope Francis to attempt to normalise homosexuality is to say that Holy Scriptures are false, that our sins really don’t matter, and that we can continue living in them,” Graham wrote.
“If that were true, then Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection wouldn’t have been needed. The cross would have been for nothing. No one has the right or the authority to trivialise Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.”
Graham continued: “I want everyone to know the truth and to find the peace that come sonly from fully surrendering our lives to Him and His commands.
“The consequence of an unrepentant, unbelieving heart is also clear in the Word of God – eternal death.
“Unless we repent and receive His offer of forgiveness, surrendering our lives to Him, we will spend eternity as part of a different family when we leave this earth – the family of the condemned.”
No one has the right or the authority to trivialise Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.
Graham’s firm rebuke came just hours after Pope Francis sent shockwaves across the world when his comments were revealed in the documentary Francesco, which debuted at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.
His pro-gay remarks came as a surprise to many within the LGBT+ community, as the pope has previously kept firmly with Catholic Church teachings that oppose any progress in LGBT+ rights.
In 2013, he made global headlines when he called on the Catholic church to “show mercy, not condemnation” to gay people – representing a stark shift in tone from his predecessors.
But in 2019, he told a Spanish newspaper that parents who see signs of homosexuality in their children should “consult a professional” – a comment that was considered by many to endorse conversion therapy.
Meanwhile, he has been staunch in his opposition to trans identities, comparing them to nuclear war and genetic manipulation in 2015.
In 2019, the Vatican released a document claiming that “gender ideology” is a “move away from nature”.