Pope Francis made an eloquent statement when he said that parents should support gay children instead of condemning them on Wednesday (January 26). He made the statement in an unscripted comment during his weekly audience regarding the difficulties that parents face in raising their children. Francis noted that among the topics covered were ‘parents who see their children have different sexual orientations and how to deal with this, how to accompany their children and not hide behind condemnation’.
According to Pope Francis, gay children deserve to be accepted by their families as children and siblings. Despite the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, he has said that it can support laws aimed at giving homosexual partners joint rights related to pensions, health care, and inheritances. A document issued by the Vatican’s doctrinal office last year said Catholic priests could not bless same-sex marriages, which disappointed many gay Catholics.
In some countries, such as the United States and Germany, parishes and ministers have begun blessing same-sex relationships as a replacement for marriage, and bishops have been called on to de facto institutionalize these. Some conservatives in the 1.3 billion-member Church believe the pope is sending mixed signals on homosexuality by sending notes of appreciation to priests and nuns who minister to gays.
In preparation for a Vatican meeting in 2023 on the Church’s future direction, a Vatican department apologized for ‘causing pain to the entire LGBTQ community’ by removing a link to resources from a Catholic gay rights advocacy group from its websites. Despite the fact that same-sex acts are sinful, same-sex tendencies are not, the Church teaches that gays should be treated with respect.