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Pope Francis says Christians should apologise to homosexuals, women and children

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

Pope Francis has been lauded in the past for his views on homosexuality, his voice a refreshing change from the Church's polarised stance on same-sex relationships. On 26 June, he said that the Roman Catholic Church and Christians in general should apologise for the discrimination that has been meted out to gay people, and seek forgiveness for the same.

Speaking to reporters on 25 June after he flew back to Rome from Armenia, the Pope was asked if he agreed with comments by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx that the Church needed to say sorry for the way it has treated the gay community.

"We Christians have to apologise for so many things, not just for this (treatment of gay people), but we must ask for forgiveness. Not just apologise, forgiveness," he said.

"The questions is: if a person who has that condition, who has good will, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?" the pope added, repeating his famous "Who am I to judge?" remark about homosexuality made early in his papacy.

Pope Francis expanded his apology to also include other people who have faced discrimination.

"I think that the Church not only should apologise... To a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been forced to work," he said.

The comments come just two weeks after the Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub in which 49 people were killed. The Holy See condemned the attack as a "homicidal folly and senseless hatred".


First published: 27 June 2016, 1:33 IST