Pope Francis urges Catholics to accept LGBT people in new book

Pope Francis has called for the Catholic Church to be more welcoming to LGBT people in a new book.

The pontiff, said in the new book ‘The Name of God is Mercy’, that the Church needs to be more compassionate to a “wounded humanity”.

In the book, the Pope reiterates the statement he is often quoted on, when he said “who am I to judge”, about gay people.

He writes: “People should not be defined only by their sexual identities.”

The book will be released on Tuesday, in order to coincide with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a year in which Catholics are called on to seek forgiveness, as well as to forgive others.

“The Church does not exist to condemn people but to bring about an encounter with the visceral love of God’s mercy,” he writes, continued to say “humanity is wounded, deeply wounded”.

Francis goes on to criticised those in the Church “who are only used to having things fit into their pre-conceived notions and ritual purity instead of letting themselves be surprised by reality, by a greater love or a higher standard.”

The Pope has been hailed by many for being more progressive on LGBT issues than his predecessor, having previously told reporters “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

However, Pope Francis has also been reluctant to address the issue of homosexuality as anything other than a sin.