Pope Francis recently said that Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should not only apologize to homosexuals for the way Christians have often treated them, but ask for their forgiveness as well.
The Huffington Post reports that the Pope made these comments while on a plane returning to the Vatican from Armenia.
A reporter brought the issue up when he asked if Francis thought Christians and the Catholic Church ought to apologize to homosexuals, and if mending Christian-homosexual relationships has become more urgent after the shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub which took the lives of 49 people.
In his response, Francis referenced Church teaching which states that homosexuals “should not be discriminated against.”
He went on to say: “I think that the Church not only should apologize ... to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons.”
The Catholic Church teaches that although homosexual temptations are not sinful, to act on such temptations is sinful.
Pope Francis added that not only should Christians apologize to homosexuals, but they should ask for forgiveness.
“We Christians have to apologize for so many things, not just for this (treatment of gays), but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologize! Forgiveness! Lord, it is a word we forget so often!”
Although Francis’ comments and views toward homosexuals have been embraced by many in the gay community, some more conservative Catholics have criticized what they view as the Pope’s more liberal stance.
Publication date: June 27, 2016