Pope Francis was addressing his weekly audience when he discussed the obstacles faced by parents and urged them to support kids who are gay.
Pope Francis has called on parents of gay children to support them. In a strong message from the church, he urged parents to not condemn gay children. While addressing his weekly audience, he was talking about the obstacles parents face when raising children. “Never condemn a child,” said Pope Francis. Among the issues discussed, he spoke about "parents who see different sexual orientations in their children and how to handle this, how to accompany their children, and not hide behind an attitude of condemnation," reported Reuters.
This is not the first time the pope has rallied around gay people. When asked about gay preachers in 2013, he responded that he was no one to judge them. “If someone is gay, and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” said Pope Francis, reported USA Today. While the Church continues to teach that homosexual activity is “intrinsically disordered,” the Pope has been comparatively more progressive. He also said that gay people have a right to be accepted by their families as children and siblings.
The Church doesn't support same-sex marriages, claiming that it "cannot bless sin," but added that it supports civil union laws that give gay partners joint rights in areas of pensions and health care and inheritance issues. The Pope has referred to gay and transgender people as the children of God and endorsed civil unions as well. "Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," said Francis in the 2020 documentary, 'Francesco.' "You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."
The Church has made it clear that it doesn't recognize gay marriages as being on par with heterosexual marriages. "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,” read a statement by the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, that was approved by Francis.
While the Vatican continues to hold that view, some churches in the United States and Germany have begun blessing same-sex unions in lieu of marriage. Conservatives have complained the Pope was confusing its members through his messages speaking for gays. Last month, the Vatican apologized for "causing pain to the entire LGBTQ community" by removing from its website a link to resource material from a Catholic gay rights advocacy group.
Pope Francis has also irked conservatives by speaking up for the poor with regard to climate change. “We are part of a history marked by tribulation, violence, suffering and injustice, ever awaiting a liberation that never seems to arrive,” said the Pope. “Those who are most wounded, oppressed and even crushed, are the poor, the weakest links in the chain.” He called on world leaders to help the poor, reminding them that the Church “asks us not to turn aside, not to be afraid to take a close look at the suffering of those most vulnerable.” He said the poor are "victims of injustice and the inequality of a throwaway society that hurries past without seeing them and without scruple abandons them to their fate.” He has also spoken up for addressing climate change and warned that the poor will suffer the most as they will be forced to flee their homes due to droughts and floods. Conservative congresswoman Claudia Tenney called the Pope a communist after meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a day he urged world leaders to fight climate change. “Just two communists,” wrote Tenney, reported Syracuse.com.