Metro Weekly

Pope Francis: Parents should “never condemn” gay children

Pope Francis said parents should refrain from adopting a "condemning attitude"

pope francis, catholic church
Pope Francis — Photo by Ashwin Vaswani on Unsplash

Pope Francis has urged parents to support children if they are gay and “never condemn” them.

During a weekly general audience earlier this month, the head of the Catholic Church spoke about the biblical figure Joseph while discussing parents who face “sad” situations.

The Pope referenced those parents dealing with children suffering illness and imprisonment, before turning to address gay youth.

“Parents who see that their children have different sexual orientations, how they manage that and accompany their children and not hide behind a condemning attitude,” Pope Francis said, the Associated Press reports.

He added: “Never condemn a child.”

Pope Francis has a complicated history with regards LGBTQ issues. Last year, he stated that the Catholic Church wouldn’t bless same-sex marriages, but stopped short of condemning LGBTQ people and supported extending laws to protect same-sex couples.

His comments came after he previously made comments supporting civil union laws for same-sex couples as part of an interview he gave as part of a documentary. But the Vatican pushed back against the remarks, arguing they had been taken out of context.

The Vatican later released a statement, approved by Pope Francis, declaring that the Catholic Church would never be able to bless same-sex marriages, calling them “sinful” and branding homosexuality a “choice.”

In 2019, the Vatican also branded transgender people a “confused concept” and said that they “annihilate the concept of nature.”

Pope Francis has also spoken out against gay people joining the clergy, saying the issue “worries” him. In 2018, he called “the issue of homosexuality” a “very serious matter,” and said that sexuality must be “adequately discerned” from prospective clergy candidates.

The Pontiff also said that it “seems that homosexuality is fashionable” in society, and “this mentality…affects the life of the Church.”

He also told bishops to seek out and prevent gay priesthood applicants, telling them to “keep your eyes open” and “if in doubt, better not let them enter.”

Francis also condemned same-sex families at an event for Catholic families, saying same-sex couples did not deserve to have their families recognized by the Church.

“People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family [but] the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one,” he said.

Earlier this month, dozens of Catholic priests and officials came out as LGBTQ in protest of the Catholic Church’s anti-LGBTQ stance. More than 120 people urged the church to abandon its “outdated statements of church doctrine.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the official mouthpiece of the Catholic Church in the United States, has repeatedly opposed attempts to progress LGBTQ rights or help LGBTQ people.

Last year it was revealed that the conference actively fought against legislation to create a three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline because it included support for LGBTQ people.

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