Pope Francis has said Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness from gay people.
He made the comments while speaking to reporters aboard a plane taking him back to Rome from Armenia on Sunday.
He also said the Church should ask forgiveness for the way it had treated women, for turning a blind eye to child labour, and for “blessing so many weapons” in the past.
He told reporters on the plane: “There are traditions in some countries, some cultures, that have a different mentality about this question [homosexuals]” and there are “some [gay] demonstrations that are too offensive for some”.
In the hour-long freewheeling conversation that has become a trademark of his international travels, Pope Francis was asked if he agreed with recent comments by a German Roman Catholic cardinal that the Church should apologise to gay people.
The Pope looked sad when the reporter asked if an apology was made more urgent by the killing of 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida this month.
Pope Francis recalled Church teachings, saying: “[Homosexuals] should not be discriminated against. They should be respected, accompanied pastorally.
The Church teaches that homosexual tendencies are not sinful but homosexual acts are, and that homosexuals should try to be chaste.
Pope Francis repeated a slightly modified version of the now-famous “Who am I to judge?” comment he made about homosexual people on the first foreign trip after his election in 2013.
“The question is: if a person who has that condition, who has good will, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?” he said.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the Pope, by saying “has that condition”, did not imply a medical condition but “a person in that situation”. In Italian, the word “condition” can also mean “situation”.
“We Christians have to apologise for so many things, not just for this [treatment of gay people] — but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologise! Forgiveness! Lord, it is a word we forget so often!” he said.
Pope Francis has been hailed by many in the gay community for being the most merciful pope towards them in recent history, and conservative Catholics have criticised him for making comments they say are ambiguous about sexual morality.
Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded
BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.
The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.
Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.
Transportation has also been halted.
Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.
Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.
The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.
Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.
Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.Follow @gorkhapost