Asia / Europe / Faith and religion

Pope: Christians must apologize to gays, women and more

The National Catholic Reporter reports:

Pope Francis (Photo courtesy of Sourcefed.com)

Pope Francis (Photo courtesy of Sourcefed.com)

The Catholic church and other Christian communities must apologize to gay people and to many groups they have let down or offended throughout history, Pope Francis has said [aboard a plane flying him to Rome].

In a press conference Sunday on the flight back to Rome after his weekend trip to Armenia, the pontiff said bluntly: “The church must say it’s sorry for not having comported itself well many times, many times.”

“I believe that the church not only must say it’s sorry … to this person that is gay that it has offended,” said the pope. “But it must say it’s sorry to the poor, also, to mistreated women, to children forced to work.”

“When I say the church: Christians,” Francis clarified. “The church is healthy. We are the sinners.”

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx: "The history of homosexuals in our societies is very bad because we’ve done a lot to marginalise [them]." (Photo courtesy of Patheos.com)

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx: “The history of homosexuals in our societies is very bad because we’ve done a lot to marginalise [them].” (Photo courtesy of Patheos.com)

The pope was responding to a question about remarks German Cardinal Reinhard Marx made last week that the Catholic church should apologize to the gay community for marginalizing them.

“I will repeat the same thing I said on the first trip,” Francis said today, referencing the press conference he held on a return flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013. “I will also repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that [gay people] should not be discriminated against, that they have to be respected, pastorally accompanied.”

“The matter is a person that has that condition [and] that has good will because they search for God,” said the pontiff.

“Who are we to judge them?” he asked, reframing his famous phrase from 2013 into the plural. “We must accompany well — what the Catechism says. The Catechism is clear.”

Francis also said that the culture in which he grew up in Argentina many years ago was a “closed Catholic culture,” giving the example of how it was looked down upon to even enter the home of a couple who had been married civilly after one of the partners had previously divorced.

“The culture has changed — and thank God!” the pope exclaimed. “Christians; we must say we are sorry many times; not only on this.”

“This is the life of the church,” said the pontiff. “We are all saints because we all have the Holy Spirit inside us. But we are also all sinners.”

The pope’s words about apologizing to those the church has let down were part of a nearly hour-long press conference that focused on a wide array of issues.

For more information, read the full article in the National Catholic Reporter.

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One thought on “Pope: Christians must apologize to gays, women and more

  1. There remain serious conflicts between his attitude here and what he said about us in his pronouncements on the family. Here he says “The matter is a person that has that condition…” What condition?
    Although English is not his first language and this may or not be an exact quote, the Pope here sounds like a 1950’s psychiatrist stating be kind to homosexuals because they are sick! We, gays reject that poor excuse for understanding truth. Most psychiatrists would now disagree; being gay or lesbian or transgender, these are not illnesses. These are part of the human sexuality continuum. Until the Pope understands this, apologies will ring hollow and be meaningless to many if not most gay Catholics who feel quite unwelcome in today’s Church.

    Like

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