Pope Francis has called on Christians to apologise to gay people for past discrimination.
The Catholic Church leader said homosexuals should be respected, adding an apology was owed for the way the Roman Catholic Church has treated them.
He’s reported as saying: “I will repeat what the catechism of the Church says, that [gay people] should not be discriminated against, that they should be respected, accompanied pastorally.
“I think that the Church not only should apologise to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been [forced to] work.
“The Church must say it is sorry for not having behaved as it should many times, many times – when I say ‘the Church,’ I mean we Christians because the Church is holy; we are the sinners.”
The pope made the remarks to reporters at a press conference after he was asked if he agreed with statements made by senior German Roman Catholic cardinal Reinhard Marx, who said last week the Church owed an apology to the LGBTI community.
Pope Francis has called for tolerance of gay people before, attracting criticism from conservative Catholics.
In 2013, he said: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”
But the Pope has maintained that while being gay is not wrong, he still considered homosexual acts themselves as “sinful”.