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Pope: Church should apologize for mistreating gays

June 27, 2016

Pope Francis said that the Church should ask for the forgiveness of homosexual persons who have been offended, during a question-and-answer session with reporters who accompanied him on his return flight from Armenia to Rome.

When asked to comment on a statement by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who had said that the Church should apologize for mistreating homosexuals, the Pope replied at length, saying that the Church should apologize for many different things:

I think that the Church must not only ask forgiveness... to the gay person who is offended. But she must ask forgiveness to the poor, too; to the women who are exploited, to children who are exploited for labor. She must ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons...

The Pope began his response to the question by citing the teaching of the Catechism that homosexuals should be treated with respect, and he went on to distinguish between homosexual orientation-- which he described as a "condition"-- and homosexual acts. He then repeated one of his most famous lines:

The problem is a person that has a condition, that has good will and who seeks God, who are we to judge?

After saying that the Church should apologize for mistreatment of homosexuals and for other failings, the Pontiff corrected himself:

When I say the Church, I mean Christians! The Church is holy; we are sinners. Christians must ask forgiveness for not having accompanied so many choices, so many families.


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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Nov. 18, 2016 3:35 PM ET USA

    Does Francis ever apologize to the victims of the sins he is always so willing to trivialize?

  • Posted by: garedawg - Jun. 28, 2016 11:54 AM ET USA

    So do the rest of us get an apology from the Church for giving us so many homosexual priests?

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Jun. 28, 2016 8:55 AM ET USA

    I feel the Church should apologize to the world for having such a confusing and embarrassing Pope. One who does not seem to care if he utters any uncalled-for remarks about anything that takes his fancy.

  • Posted by: jge3139789 - Jun. 28, 2016 2:39 AM ET USA

    Dear CC, I would like to hear from Dr. Mirus on this. He is one of the most clear headed Catholics I know. I personally have never hurt a homosexual, or exploited women, or children. I see no reason I must ask forgiveness for sins I have not committed. I think that Pope Francis went over the top on this "presser". I am loyal to our Pontiff and will not detract from Church teachings. It just is getting weary trying to explain Teachings that non Catholics take from this.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jun. 28, 2016 2:39 AM ET USA

    A person who seeks God ought to likewise be person of good will. A person of good will ought to be in possession of a will that always and everywhere seeks to do good, as defined by the God he seeks. How then, can you reconcile a will that always and everywhere seeks to do good with a will that frequently and vociferously proclaims to the public by word and deed: "I will not serve!"? By this reasoning, is it not better to reign in hell than serve in heaven?

  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 28, 2016 1:06 AM ET USA

    I suggest to all to look up the exact quote of the Holy Father's response. It's really not as bad as presented in the pagan media. It's actually very good - in my opinion - although it is in that emotional style typical for Pope Francis. We need to pray for the Pope continually.

  • Posted by: VICTORIA01 - Jun. 28, 2016 12:49 AM ET USA

    As a life long Catholic I am offended by many things various bishops and Pope Francis say. Will I be receiving an apology.

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Jun. 27, 2016 11:07 PM ET USA

    When you read the interview you see that the journalist "cornered" the pope into answering that by the way of framing the question. Reading the full text, it seems clear to me that the pope knew he was in dire straits and tried to shift focus away from the "gay cause". He even said this puzzling thing: "One can condemn, but not for theological reasons, but for reasons of political behavior ... Certain manifestations are a bit too offensive for others, no?"

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Jun. 27, 2016 8:39 PM ET USA

    Well Holy Father, I would assume your condition of "having good will and seeks God" would apply to any sinner (or "condition" if you prefer). and includes the implication that confession is not a necessary event. Sorry, from the supplied full text, I don't see anything distinguishing orientation from act. And if you go to the CCC, you will find much more on the subject (which does distinguish). Finally, I give thanks for blessing for weapons - weapons that stopped world domination.

  • Posted by: mhains8491 - Jun. 27, 2016 6:59 PM ET USA

    Last week dissenting German Cardinals said the Church should apologise to gays, so it is no surprise the comments are echoed by the Pope this week. We live in a world where people love to play the victim, claiming special rights over others, engaging in petty name calling and demanding money - so often because they feel offended. I am sure some fornicators and adulterers also feel offended by Christ's moral teaching as do homosexuals. But that does not change these moral truths.

  • Posted by: loumiamo - Jun. 27, 2016 6:35 PM ET USA

    So how will Francis square his statement that the Church should apologize to homosexuals she has offended with the Vatican's refusal to accept the French ambassador for merely being suspected of being homosexual?

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jun. 27, 2016 6:29 PM ET USA

    This vindictive pope needs to apologize for leading the flock astray with his ambiguous and heterodox, off the cuff remarks.

  • Posted by: fenton1015153 - Jun. 27, 2016 6:25 PM ET USA

    The question is becoming more refined each time Pope Francis talks to reporters. The question is should Pope Francis talk to reporters? I say.....NO!

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Jun. 27, 2016 4:38 PM ET USA

    Just because a person with homosexual attraction feels offended does not by that fact alone warrant any apology. You would have to know the circumstances. The Holy Father needs to read the signs of the times as Vatican II states. The ideology claims that the Church's teaching on sexuality is per se offensive. Here NO APOLOGY for the Church's teachings. Holy Father, there are simply human persons created by God not homosexual persons. Homosexual attraction is not a metaphysical category.