Don’t love gay people? You might be a cold-hearted snake.
In a new video released by BBC2, Pope Francis spoke to British gay TV star Stephen K. Amos, who told the Pope that he doesn’t feel accepted as part of faith communities because he is a gay man.
“Giving more importance to the adjective than the noun — this is not good,” Pope Francis responded. “We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are or how you live your life, you do not lose your dignity.”
He continued, “There are people that prefer to select or discard people, because of the adjective,” referencing people who don’t agree with the “gay” part of “gay man.” But, the Pope said, “These people don’t have a human heart.”
Those in the room become visibly emotional hearing the Pope say these words.
— BBC Two (@BBCTwo) April 19, 2019
“It brings back goosebumps,” Amos told Gay Star News of the moment. “There was no dry eye in the room at that moment.”
Amos added, “I felt like I was asking on behalf of a lot of people. To hear him say those words in his position, and those words being heard by a lot of his followers and devotees – that stuff’s huge.”
The interaction was filmed as part of the BBC’s new program, Pilgrimage: Road to Rome, which follows celebrities following in the footsteps of religious pilgrims as they trek from Canterbury, England to Rome and talk about spirituality on the way.
Amos said that his opinion on the Pope has not changed since that moment was filmed some months ago.
“I didn’t expect him to say what he said. I thought he was going to tow a line I’d heard other people say along the pilgrimage,” Amos said. “‘Who am I to judge?’ ‘Only god can judge.’ Blah blah blah. He was a lot more candid.”
In 2013, Pope Francis responded to a question about gay priests with the now-infamous quote, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” The quote made him the Advocate’s 2013 Person of the Year.
Several queer people have since doubted Pope Francis’s commitment to LGBTQ+ acceptance. In 2018, he seemed to deter queer people from entering religious communities.
Amos and the Pope’s interaction ends in a warm hug, but it seems like the Pope’s on-camera words and his off-camera words don’t always match up.