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Gay, transgender people deserve pastoral care, pope says
October 4th, 2016
By Catholic News Service


ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM AZERBAIJAN – Catholics who are homosexual, confused about their sexuality or convinced they were born in the wrong body deserve the same attentive pastoral care as anyone else, Pope Francis said.


Flying back to Rome Oct. 2 after a visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan, the pope was asked, given his criticism Oct. 1 of “gender theory” and of what he describes as “ideological colonization,” how he would provide pastoral care to a person who felt his or her sexuality did not correspond to his or her biology.


Pope Francis began responding to the reporter’s question by saying that as a priest, a bishop and even as pope he has “accompanied people with homosexual tendencies and even homosexual activity. I accompanied them; I helped them draw closer to the Lord, although some couldn’t. But I never abandoned them.”


“People must be accompanied like Jesus would accompany them,” he said. “When a person who has this situation arrives before Jesus, Jesus certainly will not say, ‘Go away because you are homosexual.’ No.”


Pope Francis said what he was condemning was “indoctrination of gender theory,” teaching small children that no matter their biological sex, they can choose their gender.


“It is one thing for a person to have this tendency, this option and even to have a sex change, but it is another thing to teach this in schools in order to change mentalities. This I call ideological colonization,” the pope said.


Welcome the person, study the situation, accompany the person and integrate him or her into the life of the community, the pope said. “This is what Jesus would do today.”


“Please,” the pope told reporters, “Don’t say, ‘The pope will bless transgender people,’ OK?”


“I want to be clear. It is a moral problem. It is a problem. A human problem,” the pope said. “And it must be resolved the best one can – always with the mercy of God, with the truth” and “always with an open heart.”


From October 6, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.






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