Jan 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pope calls on parents to accept their gay children

The Pope arrives for a general audience
The Pope arriving for a general audience. Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis called on parents not to condemn their children if they are gay, while speaking at his general audience session on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the latest display of outreach by Francis to LGBTQ people, who have traditionally been marginalized by the church.

Details: The pope's message was dedicated to St. Joseph, the father of Jesus. Speaking off the cuff, Francis said he was thinking of how parents should react "in the face of their children’s problems," including sickness and permanent illness.

  • He referenced "parents who see different sexual orientations in their children," calling on them "to deal with this and accompany their children and not hide in an attitude of condemnation."
  • "And to these parents I say: don't be scared. Yes, there is pain. A lot," Francis said. "But think of the Lord, think about how Joseph solved the problems and ask Joseph to help you. Never condemn a child."

Background: The church considers LGBTQ sex and activity to be "intrinsically disordered."

Pope Francis has sought to make the church more welcoming to LGBTQ people, most famously in 2013 when he answered "who am I to judge" in response to a question about gay priests.

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