Pope Francis on Wednesday called on parents not to condemn a child who has “a different sexual orientation,” but to accompany and support him or her.
In a catechesis on St. Joseph and fatherhood during the general audience held every week, the Pontiff reflected on “parents facing the problems of children” and, among other cases, he mentioned parents “who see different sexual orientations in their children” and encouraged them to “accompany them and not hide in a condemnatory attitude”.
Pope asks parents not to condemn their children if they have a “different sexual orientation”
Francis has always reproached the rejection of homosexual children in families and has addressed the issue on several occasions. In 2018, on the return trip from Ireland, where he attended the World Meeting of Families, journalists asked him what he would say to the parents of a gay child, and he replied, “To ignore the son or daughter with homosexual tendencies would be a lack of motherhood and fatherhood. You are my son or daughter as you are.”
Catholic doctrine does not accept same-sex marriage and the Pope has reaffirmed this on numerous occasions, although he has been in favor of civil unions that can guarantee homosexual couples rights in pensions and health care, or in matters of inheritance.
Last year, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which deals with doctrinal issues, in the face of questions from some bishops, reaffirmed that priests cannot bless same-sex unions.
“It is not licit to impart a blessing to relationships, or even stable couples, that involve sexual praxis outside of marriage (that is, outside of the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open, in itself, to the transmission of life), as is the case with unions between persons of the same sex. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which in themselves are to be appreciated and valued, is not yet capable of justifying them and making them the licit object of an ecclesial blessing,” the congregation’s document read. This decision greatly disappointed homosexual Catholics.
In some parishes in countries such as the United States and Germany, priests have rebelled and have begun to bless same-sex unions instead of marriage, and have also asked bishops to de facto institutionalize them.