The Catholic Church has been anything but kind to the LGBT community, to put it lightly, but recent comments by Pope Francis gesture at a future church that might be more accepting of LGBT parishioners.
Accoding to America, the Pope told Tenda di Gionata, a group of about 40 parents of LGBT kids, that “God loves your children as they are” and “the church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”
Jonathan’s Tent, as the group is known in English, is a support group for LGBT Christians, their families, and pastoral workers. It was founded to provide information about and advocate for the LGBT Christian community, so getting an audience with Pope Francis is a big deal.
The vice president of the group, Mara Grassi, said afterwards she told the pope that “We consider ourselves fortunate because we had to change the way that we had always looked at our children. We found a new way of looking that enabled us to see in them the beauty and love of God.”
“We wish to create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them,” she continued.
“The church does not exclude them because she loves them deeply,” he replied, according to Grassi.
The Pope has made similar remarks before, and this latest incident shows that he is primed to continue his papacy as one of the more progressive Popes in history.
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