Pope says Church should apologise to gays… a month after saying Catholics should be free to discriminate

The Pope has claimed the church should “apologise” to gay people – a month after he said Catholics should be free to discriminate based on sexuality.

The religious leader made the comments to press after a trip to Armenia.

Asked about homosexuality, the Pope affirmed “what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says”.

The Catechism continues to teach that homosexuality is ‘disordered’.

However, the Pope pointed out that it says people “should not be discriminated against, that they have to be respected, pastorally accompanied.”

He added: “I think the Church not only must say it is sorry to the gay person it has offended, but also to the poor, to exploited women.

“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.

“We Christians must say we are sorry.”

However, his comments have been met with extreme scepticism from LGBT activists – given the Church continues to actively lobby against LGBT rights and Catholic organisations still discriminate against LGBT people across much of the world.

Just last month, the Pope claimed that government officials are Catholic should have the ‘freedom of conscience’ to discriminate against married gay people.

He said: “Once a [same-sex marriage] law has been adopted, the state must also respect people’s consciences.

“The right to conscientious objection must be recognised within each legal structure because it is a human right. Including for a government official, who is a human person.”

In April the Pope released a long-awaited report on ‘the family’, which affirmed existing church teachings opposing gay equality and same-sex marriage.

In the document, the Pope says that gay people should receive “assistance” to bring them back to normality, and affirms there are “absolutely no grounds” for considering recognition of “homosexual unions”.

The document also claimed that sex education “promotes narcissism” and should instead be focused on “modesty”. It also continues the church’s long-held stance of opposing condom use.