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On his return trip from Armenia, as has become custom, Pope Francis answered questions from the press aboard the papal plane. He answered a handful of questions concerning his trip to Armenia, its impacts on relations with Turkey, Pope Emeritus Benedict, the Pan-Orthodox council, the Brexit, and more.

The second to last question he was asked concerned German Cardinal Marx and his statement that the Catholic Church must “ask forgiveness from the gay community” for having marginalised these people.

In the official translation of his comments from the Vatican, Pope Francis answered:

“I will repeat what I said on my first trip. I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally. One may condemn, not for theological reasons, but for reasons of, let’s say, political behaviour – certain manifestations are a little too offensive to others. But these things have nothing to do with the problem. The problem is that if a person in this condition has good will and seeks God, who are we to judge? And we must accompany them well. … Then there are traditions in some countries, in some cultures that have a different mentality on this problem. I think that the Church must not only ask forgiveness from the gay person who is offended, but she must also ask for forgiveness from the poor too, from women who are exploited, from children who are exploited for labour. She must ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons. The Church must ask forgiveness for often not behaving well – when I say the Church, I mean Christians. The Church is holy, we are sinners. Christians must ask forgiveness for having not accompanied so many choices, and so many families. …I remember from my childhood, the culture in Buenos Aires, the closed Catholic culture. I come from there. You couldn’t enter the house of a divorced family; I’m speaking of 80 years ago. The culture has changed, thanks be to God. Christians must apologise for many things, and not just this: they must ask for forgiveness, not just offer apologies. Forgive me, Lord: words we often forget”.

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35 COMMENTS

  1. This reminds me of when Our Lord 1st spoke of eating his flesh and many of his followers left because it was so unfathomable. Once again our Holy Father says something so radical that it challenges us to be who we truly are called to be, humble servants not entitled heirs. Very well said so I’m proud to finally have a leader who truly walks the walk

  2. We don’t owe anybody any apologies… The church has gone soft on its stance on sin and sinful living, how does she expect to send her message across that men should repent and embrace God when she keeps tolerating and indirectly encouraging sinful lifestyle in the name of “not judging anyone” maybe our lord too should apologize to those at the temple who were trading when he overturned their goods.

    • Why judge though? Same verse that denounces homosexuality denounces Drunkards and philandering and we accept the other two.

    • Dear brother, I think that the devil is talking through you, God loves you, yeah this is true, but in what sence ? He loves you means that he is ready to forgive you if you repent. The fact that he knows that you will be a gay, doesn’t mean that he agree, God knows everything, since you are a member of the Catholic Church so you are supposed to know that being a gay is an abomination to God law. And that homosexual will never enter into the kingdom of god.

  3. As a openly Gay person and also a proud member of the Catholic Church.. My question is to you what did i do? The bible teach us that we care all one and God made each one of us different for a reason and He knows what we will do and become before we was born… So since he known i would have become gay and did not change that, why is it so hard for others to just say that i am a child of God? He wanted me to be this way for a reason and I am doing my part to educate all those who he put in my path. I am not going to change who i am just because some people don’t like me, I only have to answer to my LORD and since HE LOVE ME AS I AM. I LOVE MYSELF

    • As an openly Alcoholic person and also a proud member of the Catholic Church…blah, blah…God specifically gave me this inclination, so I’m not going to change who I am just because some people don’t like me. God loves me just as I am.

      Brother, you are greater than your inclinations. We’re called to grow in virtue, not embrace our vices. See 1 Cor 6:9-10. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it always sets you free.

      • So you were born an alcoholic?? I think not!!! It’s science that we are born straight and gay…do you choose to be straight? If so, you are admitting that you must like the same sex…and you choose not to pursue it. Self hatred makes you sad and pathetic!!

        • I am gay and since returning to the Catholic faith, the Holy Spirit has convicted me in a wonderful way and I am now chaste and have been for many years. Maybe it is our cross to bear but we are called to be HOLY!! What amazed me is that after I promised our Lord that I would live my life chaste, I was instantly blessed with a sense of innocence that I can’t explain. I am a bit concerned that our Pope doesn’t ever suggest this.

        • Sorry “just another” that is absolutely false: science has not demonstrated yet, not there is any evidente of what you say. Right Now, lacking on scientifically studies (thanks to politically reasons) our only aproximación would be that according to genética it should not be something you are born with.
          The real scientifically answer is: we dont know yet. The most probable answer: there are many causes depending on the persons life and most of them might be psicológica.

      • i feel sad that you are a slave to your addiction. To have complete control over ones own desires is a wonderful experience and i am grateful everyday that i can live that way. A couple of times in my life i have lost my freedom when depression controlled my life and at other times ill health. But i kept focused and did what i had to do to get through those situations. It was extremely painful but so rewarding when i won. Please don’t kid yourself Jeff T that your loving father would want you to live without freedom. Fight for your live little brother. You are loved, valued and your contribution is important, your will increase your input 100 fold when it is done without self medication. Love yourself as God loves you and give yourself the best chance to be the best you can be. Prayers coming your way little brother. Alexandria.

    • You know something? You have nothing to change at all. I am a born and baptized Catholic and I did the whole 9 yards. I saw priests unfaithful, one even was having an affair with a married lady. My mother tried to cover it up but even at that age I knew something was not right. The Catholic church does not at all “practice what they preach”. I am ashamed of Catholicism, I am now too old. I am also a homosexual, I quit going to a Catholic church 40 some odd years ago. There is no human on earth that will judge you, when your call comes then GOD will make the judgement.

      • Hi Jim
        I am so sad that you had to experience the weak side of humanity at such a young age. It makes such an impact at any age. Please don’t be judge mental about the Catholic Church. It is made up of thousands of human beings like you and me. Sure there are some who have hidden behind its walls that are the sons and daughters of the Devil. Can you think of a better place for him to attack and destroy. I work trying to repair the damage to those gentle little souls that his corrupted souls have nearly destroyed by their behaviour.
        I ask you, If only for one second of your day you could show the love, compassion, understanding and solidarity that Jesus Christ would show to these hurt souls would you not answer the call and do it? To just smile with love and make another person feel that they are not abandoned would you not do it? I am one of millions of Catholic’s who try to do this every moment of everyday. Sure there are times i think my Church is led by fools. And yes i can get angry about the suffering that has been caused by creepy little men who should be flogged in public or at least brought to justice through the court system. But then i remember the millions of good people like me and like you. This is our Church, i have been laughed at and insulted over the years by educated and uneducated people for standing up and saying “yes i believe in God, and i am a member of the Catholic Church”. Some have even accused me of being mentally retarded for having such belief’s. Well Jim i am educated, and through all my personal pain i can honestly tell you i know we are not alone. We all have our cross to carry. We must live our lives being true to ourselves, but don’t get all bitter and twisted because not everyone see’s life the same way as you do. Maybe our differences are there to constantly remind us that we are to remain steadfast in the time of a challenge. I have NO doubt that GOD loves you every bit as much as he loves me. We only have to read the teachings of Christ to understand this.
        I wish you all the best Jim, i pray you have inner peace, what a waste of your life if you end up being a grumpy bitter old man just because some people in the Catholic Church let you down. Be proud, your loved now how about spreading the word. Next time you think of the Catholic Church, think of us who are still in there fighting to clean up the mess. God Bless you brother.

    • Hi Alex! First of all, only for being gay, you did nothing wrong. Being gay is not morally wrong, not being anything else. What can be wrong is our acts. Leaving natural matters appart, the truth is that the problem is easier to understand than both, haters and active gays, seem to do:
      What the catholic Church says, which means: what Crist says throught the Gospels is the development of the sixth commandment. This basically means among other things that nobody should have sexual relationships with nobody except their wife or husband (if you study the topic you will find out why, as there is a profound explanación for this).
      This is a mortal sin, so it is not posible to not agree on this or to not follow it and still be part of the Catholic Church, that would mean to make up your religión. Also is ok to fail one or a million times. The problem is not to sin, we are all sinners. The problem, the momment someone actively decides not to be part of the Church, no matters what he says, is when he does not accept its teachings, not when he fails at them. Its easy, you want to be on this club, these are the rules, you are not forced to stay. And those are not simple rules, they are Gods rules and all of them have a racional perfectly consistant explanación. Luckily we have the confesión possibility.
      Now, that was the First point.
      The Church also clearly states, always following the Bible, that only a man and a woman can be married. No matters anything, anything else is not a marriage and not even the Pope can change that. So if you cannot have sex with someone outside marriage and you cannot marriage anyone of your same sex… You see, leaving some other matters appart, a gay couple is not acting more wrong than a normal couple having sex before marriage usually or a divorced couple doing the same. They are all as out as anybody, because they want in the momment they decide not to fight against that and instead decide what it is considered wrong in the Church, to be good.

      You can state then “what? Then gay people is not supposed to be able to ever love?” It deppends.Contrary to the popular opinión, although it seems to be politically incorrecto to scientifically study the topic, not all the gays are gay for the same reason. In each case each individual should see. But I will tell you First that you are overvaluing human (marital) love. You can have the best of lives as thousands of other people, living in celibacy. You have to see what God wants for you, and not be obsessed with having a románticos love. If you insist o n considering this a disgrace for anyone wanting to trully be catholic (I know some gay people who live happily being perfecto cristiana) i will tell you that well, many people are born with greater disfraces. Some people are born only to die minutes later and even those are in Gods plans. If you see this as a defeat or hard to accept I peomise you the problem is you still dont understand it well, and invite you to keep seeking for the Truth.

      Appart from all this, cristians must never hate anyone no matter what, much less for being gay. So if you have hate problema, is about individuals, not about the Church. People can get things wrong, but hating has always been wrong, no matter who. And we all have to be careful with this.
      So theres not any problem from the Church with gay people, the Church is only concerned with teaching and preserving Jesús teachings, and even if they wanted to, they cannot change them, as they havent got authority for it.

      Supposed they were wrong (surprisingly some people think they are wiser than thousands of the best minds on history studying the Bible for centurues) you can be God hinself would have comunicarte it tho the Church vía an Ángel or a Saint, as there has been many Saints who were given messages until nowadays.

    • Alex, I write this as a brother in Christ and a fellow Catholic. Jeff T said it perfectly. You are greater than your inclinations. All people struggle with temptation, you are not alone in that. The Christian life is a life of denying ourselves and our desires for the glorification of God, we do that by uniting ourselves to the cross of Christ. You are first and foremost (assuming you are baptized) a child of God. That is your most important identity. Your attraction to the same sex should not define you or become a point of pride for you. God did not create you to be gay, it is not part of his divine plan for you. His divine plan is ultimately your eternal salvation. When Christ was asked what the greatest commandment was – he said to love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength and the second is like it; love your neighbor. Notice he does not mention loving ourselves – love of self leads to pride, leads to sin, leads away from God. You need to see yourself as God sees you and live as he created you, rather than as you see yourself. Your identity is rooted in the God who created you, not in your sexual attraction. As JeffT said, we are called to grow in virtue not embrace our vices. Deny yourself, lay yourself down as Christ did on calvary, and then you will truly be free. But follow your inclinations, give into your desires, and you will be enslaved.

    • Alex – Remember that God created us in His image but due to the fall of man, we are prone to sin. Please study the Churches teaching on the sacrament of Marriage. If you have not read already, I recommend Theology of the Body – St. JPII. Peace brother.

    • You haven’t done anything thing wrong. I guess some people don’t care for gay people.They should not be judging they should just leave their comments to themselves. God is the one that should be the judge and no else should.

    • A non-Catholic here so perhaps my beliefs are different but couldn’t a pedophile say the same thing? “God knew I would become a pedophile and he didn’t do anything to stop it so he wanted me to be this way for a reason.”

  4. Francis should resign or retire from the priesthood or the Papacy Obviously before he disgraces the Catholic faith any more than he has already. Otherwise Pope Benedict should declare a schism in the faith and the College of Cardinals should OUST Francis and reinstate Pope Benedict or pick another Pope. ENOUGH of this liberal fool in the papacy and his Stupid comments o Monogamy cohabitation etc…,

  5. Hello everyone,
    I am seeking for a real answer here. So, at first I was kinda shocked but then I took the time the thin and what he says is very rational. But here is a thing: the Pope said we have blessed too many weapons. I feel like in a way there is also a reproach for doing nothing? But we have to let homosexuals people do as they want? I mean: I thought it was kinda our role to tell people when they were misled or sinning? We welcome them but don’t accept the sin right? I’m not sure I got the entire message right because of my English. Thank you in advance for the real answers. Cheers

  6. How dare he promote this kind of thinking. Peoplewho are weak in catechism is susceptible to believe these things. I so ashamed of this pope.

    • Technically I don’t think that Pope Francis said anything wrong, but I agree with your point about those who are weak in catechism. I think too that the Pope must realize how the media will frame his comments.

  7. I think the pope us right we should not judge any one because most of us are clean in public but dirty in our souls and minds and I think that is the biggest sin some one should committe of which both our bodies and soul should be clean in order to be holy that means we are all not holy and every one has his weakness and remember all sins are equal in front of GOD. What you mean there should not be churches in gay communities? So how will u transform them back to Christ when u eliminate them from the church remember Jesus came to heal the sinners not the rightous

    • We make judgements every day. When people start flinging “thou shall not judge” all over the landscape lets remember we are all called to admonish the sinner. If a person is living a self-destructive lifestyle & I say nothing for fear of being called “judgemental” then I have failed in being charitable. Being charitable means we want whats best for the other, even at the expense of being persecuted for doing so.

  8. Why must the church apologize to the LGBT community? There is no history of “the church” prosecuting LGBT folks. There may have been individual members who have treated them with disrespect. Most catholics I know pray for same sex attracted people. Our prayers are for their good, that they come to fully embrace Christ & live their lives in accordance with God’s will for them.

  9. As a Catholic, I could really careless what your sexual identity…what I don’t like is Catholic social services along my offering is paying for Muslim Syrian refugees to settle in this country…I believe the Church needs to rethink its priorities, hence my offering goes only to building maintenance.

  10. Obviously Francis’ point is that we are sinners. The church asks forgiveness for these sins of its members. When asked whether he agrees that we need to ask forgiveness of homosexuals he gives a pretty reasonable response. The church’s teaching on homosexuality can be right, while many of us act in a less than charitable way towards homosexuals and judge individuals based on what we think we know.

  11. When someone comes up to say he was born gay and at the same time he is a Christian, he expresses how ignorant he is about Christianity and the word of God. If you believe the word of God in the Bible is true then you will know that God cannot contradict himself. His word in the book of Exodus was clear about samesex relationships.
    Yes, all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Therefore, we have to show love to a fellow who has fellan that he/she may return back to God rather than leaving out there in the desert and cold to die in their sins.

  12. MY BR WHEN YOU ACCEPT GOD AND BELIEVE OUR LORD JESUS YOU WONT EMBRACE SINFULNESS,HE CAME THAT WE MAY HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY .CHRIST SHOULD HELP US LIKE THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN THE VERY ACT “GO SIN NO MORE”

  13. I’m quite prepared to ask the forgiveness of any gay person I’ve wronged and have done so. But it’s not always reciprocated.
    I contributed to a discussion on the rights of gay people by asking the question ‘what happens when two sets of minority rights are in conflict, for example gays and Christians concerning marriage?’ The bile poured out for daring to pose such a question was phenomenal, and I quickly found myself in a minority of one. There was no recognition that Christian rights had been overlooked – I might say trampled on – and their sole argument took the form of ‘we’re right, you’re wrong, Christians who don’t like it can just suck it up’. No attempt at conciliation here. I’ve never knowingly discriminated against any gay person for their being gay and I made it clear – the same law that allows them to disregard Christian rights is the same as discriminated against them in the thankfully distant past. But two wrongs don’t make a right. Unless the gay community builds bridges with us they shouldn’t be surprised if we appear unsupportive of their own position

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